NYC Lawmaker Pushes to Honor Ghanaian Hero

New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres says he will propose legislation to name the corner of 187 th Street and Prospect Avenue in honor of the Ghanaian military man, Emmanuel Mensah, who fell in the December 28, 2017 inferno in the Belmont section of the Bronx.

The suggestion was first made during a community vigil held at the Mount Carmel Church in the Bronx on January 13, 2018. Councilman Torres (District 15, in the Central Bronx) has since reiterated his call elsewhere.

Reports say Emmanuel Mensah raced in and out of the burning building to rescue four people.

He never made it back out on his last attempt.

U.S. Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was among the first lawmakers to call for the honoring of the 28-year- old National Guardsman.

The pastor of the neighborhood Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Bronx, Father Jonathan Morris, has spearheaded fundraising efforts for the affected 25 families who lost property and loved ones. The fundraising, begun January 6, yielded almost $300,000 from about 3,898 people in 16 days.

“The purpose of recording history is to never forget, and we will record the name of your son so that his heroism in our darkest moment need not be forgotten, and is memorialized forever in the identity and the history of our neighborhood,” Torres said.

“Here in my neighborhood, the twenty-six families that have been displaced by the most deadly fire in NYC in many years—13 dead and 3 in critical condition—they are in urgent need of money for funeral expenses, housing, and personal expenses. I have set up a committee with local community leaders, with supervision from Catholic Charities of New York, to make sure every penny goes directly to these families. I am the pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Bronx, just a few blocks from the fire scene. We have been working with the families from the moment of the fire and we know these families and their needs in great detail. The monies will be distributed with great care and efficiency to the families, based on need, as determined by the professional case management assessments our committee is carrying out,” a statement from Father Morris said.

Present at the vigil were City and State officials, law enforcement officials, community leaders and activists, Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. H.E. Mrs. Martha Pobee, Ghana’s Deputy Ambassador for Consular Affairs, Professor Samuel Amoako, several media outlets as well as a cross section of the Ghanaian community and other sympathizers.

Despite the Bronx being the most populous home to Ghanaians in the U.S., participation of Ghanaians in the vigil was surpisingly low.

Posted by on Feb 17 2018. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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