Oh Captain, my Captain! Coney street co-named after local war hero • Brooklyn Paper

Oh Captain, my Captain! Coney street co-named after local war hero

All in the Family: Councilman Mark Treyger commemorates the late Michael E. Berdy’s memory with Berdy’s father Irwin and brother Andy at a street co-naming on Ocean Parkway at West Avenue on May 22.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Brooklyn war hero Capt. Michael Berdy was honored in his native Coney Island with a street co-naming on West Aveneue on May 22.

Thanks to a push by Community Board 13 and Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), West Avenue between Ocean Parkway and West Fifth Street is now Captain Michael E. Berdy Way.

Local leaders gathered a week before Memorial Day for a ceremony to unveil the new street sign and pay tribute to a hero who died for his country after a lifetime of serving his community, according to one CB 13 member.

“He was an amazing person,” said Stephen “Butch” Moran, who grew up with Berdy. “He just helped do the right thing for America and he should be honored in perpetuity for it.”

Straight out of central casting, Berdy was a Boy Scout, played football at Lincoln High School, graduated West Point, and volunteered for deployment to Vietnam in 1965. After being injured in battle, he turned down a transfer out of the war zone, and returned to the fight. Berdy was killed in a helicopter crash in 1967, the day after Christmas, just days before he was scheduled to return home.

After his passing, Brooklyn recognized Berdy’s impact both in and outside of the community. Both PS 188 and the football field at Lincoln High School were named after Berdy, but several years later the football field was re-named after Fred Trump — father of President Trump — after Trump gave money to the school.

Members of CB 13 wanted to make sure that Berdy’s name had a permanent place in the community, according to the district manager.

“We didn’t want to lose Captain Berdy’s memory, so we decided to embark on a street naming for him,” said Eddie Mark. “It took about three or four years to do and his name is now on the corner of Ocean Parkway.”

Moran, who spearheaded the co-naming effort, assured the crowd at the ceremony that his childhood friend deserved the honor.

“Was he a hero? Absolutely. Was he a role model? Absolutely. Was he a gift to us all? Absolutely,” said Moran. “Should we honor him? Absolutely.”

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