A Teenage Hero is Honored Four Decades Later

Updated 2 years ago

It’s a story of love and honor, over 40 years in the making. On what would have been Alvin Beal’s 58th birthday, the man known as Pidgey received the Coast Guard Certificate of Valor.First District Coast Guard Commander, Rear Admiral Dan Abel said “This is a significant award, but again, certainly befitting of the acts of courage of what happened off shore.”On October 17th, 1972, Beal was in a boating accident with his father, John Beal. When the boat capsized, the 17-year-old risked his own life to save his father’s.Beal’s Mother, Margaret Beal said, “All my children are special, but he was really special, always helping people.”Brother Pidge never made it home. His body was found by divers five days later. But as family, friends, and Senator Susan Collins filled the Community Church of Christ in Jonesport – it’s clear the impact his short life left on the community.Senator Susan Collins said “It means so much that this community, Washington county, and the state of Maine, that decades later people still want to come together to honor this young man and his sacrifice.”Throughout the ceremony, Beal’s loved ones remembered his spirit.Childhood friend, Dale Smith said “He had a magnetic personality. His smile could just melt you.””He was special and loved by anyone who ever met him, and be loved everybody, just a unique person,” said Inaz Frazier, Beal’s sister.Mercy Beal, Pidgey’s sister who contacted the Coast Guard for the award, said “He’s our hero and he always will be.”Beal’s family hopes their brother’s honor lives on, whether it’s in a tattoo or one of the Coast Guard’s highest honors.


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