Man of Honor

To the Editor:

I attended an enjoyable event at the Bayonne public library on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. DaWayne Brashear was the guest speaker who spoke about his father, Carl M. Brashear, who he referred to as his super hero.

Carl M. Brashear was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2000 film “Men of Honor.” Seeing a movie is one thing, but it can’t compare to listening to a son’s childhood accounts of a father’s determination and perseverance in facing the struggles he had to encounter in order to achieve his goal of becoming the Navy’s first African American underwater diver. Master Chief Carl M. Brashear took his training at the diver training school located at the Bayonne Naval Base. As a young child I remember the diving school when I went to the naval base to visit the ships on Veterans Day.

Following our national anthem, which was sung by the Bayonne High school chorus, Mayor James Davis read a proclamation naming June 4, 2019 Carl M. Brashear Day.

The event which was attended by our city council as well as Bayonne residents would not have been possible if not for the efforts of First Ward Councilman Neil Carroll III, who was responsible for putting the program together. With the assistance of Bayonne High School social studies director Dan Ward the program was an educational and enjoyable evening.

DaWayne Brashear accepted an invitation from Commander Glen J. Flora to speak to students who tour the VFW 226 Military Museum. The museum contains a display of items from the diving school as well as military artifacts dating from the Civil War to present day. The museum which is located at 17 West 9 Street, is open every Saturday from 12 to 4 and private tours may be scheduled by contacting Commander Flora.

We opened our city to hear a proud son talking about his groundbreaking father Carl M. Brashear. I was glad to be in attendance and have the opportunity to listen to the personal stories of a man, who despite all the obstacles he had to overcome, rise to the challenge and accomplish his dream.

Joseph Kochanski