Members of the First Battalion Ninth Marine Regiment are returning to United States soil this week following their deployment to Iraq, and in just one month’s time will travel to Sag Harbor to pay tribute to one of their fallen brothers.
This week, the family of Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter announced a formal dedication and unveiling of a public memorial at the foot of the Sag Harbor-North Haven Bridge will be held on Saturday, November 15. The bridge, following state approval, will also officially be renamed in honor of Haerter and veterans across the country.
Lance Cpl. Haerter, a 2006 Pierson High School graduate, was killed outside the city of Ramadhi in Iraq in April. A U.S. Marine, Haerter had just reached the one-month mark of his first tour when a suicide bomber drove into the checkpoint he was guarding and detonated. His actions and sacrifice, said military officials, saved over 30 marines that day, as well as over 50 Iraqi police.
Following Haerter’s death, which rocked the Sag Harbor community, East End residents and government leaders rallied in support of the construction of a memorial granite obelisk to honor the young marine. The monument will be placed on the waterfront, next to Windmill Beach, on land donated by the Village of Sag Harbor.
In May, a bill co-sponsored by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and State Senator Ken LaValle passed, allowing the Sag Harbor-North Haven Bridge to be renamed “The Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge,” honoring both Haerter and veterans before him.
Members of Haerter’s battalion, some of who were in Ramadi with Haerter the day he was killed, will join the family, community and government leaders on November 15. According to Haerter’s father, Christian, the dedication was planned specifically to fall on a day those men could attend and the proximity to Veteran’s Day, on November 11, is purely coincidental.
“It just worked out this way,” he said on Wednesday. “We also didn’t feel we wanted to steal any thunder from the veterans, even though Jordan is a veteran now. Veteran’s Day is their day, and we really wanted this to be separate. It ultimately had to do with making sure it was a day the battalion could be there.”
On Tuesday, October 14, the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees gave its approval for the ceremony, which is expected to include guest speakers and a fly by, weather permitting.
Sag Harbor Cinema
In other community related news coming out of the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees on Tuesday night, the board passed a resolution directing village clerk Sandra Schroeder to contact Sag Harbor Cinema owner Gerald Mallow and inform him the board will hold a public hearing on granting the cinema building’s faÃ§ade historic landmark status.
In August, the village’s historic preservation and architectural review board passed a resolution asking the board of trustees to give the faÃ§ade, already located in Sag Harbor’s historic district, landmark designation. Just prior to this request, Mallow placed the cinema on the real estate market, in one advertisement seeking as much as $12 million for the Main Street, Sag Harbor locale.
On Tuesday, mayor Greg Ferraris said his only concern was ensuring the designation would not negatively impact the owner of the building.
Sag Harbor Village attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. reminded Ferraris that as a building in the historic district, the cinema was already subject to much of the same regulation as it would be as a historic landmark. Without ARB approval, persons are prohibited from altering any faÃ§ade of a historic building, or any building in the historic district for that matter, and must also seek board approval for any construction, reconstruction, demolition, or to move the structure.
The Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the designation at its next meeting, on Wednesday, November 12 at 6 p.m.Â