NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A bomb exploded at Fraunces Tavern on January 24, 1975, killing four people, including Frank Connor, a banker. FALN, a Puerto Rican militant group, claimed responsibility for that and about 100 bombings across the country.
"My dad walked in one Friday afternoon to have lunch with clients, he was 33 years old," Joseph Connor, Frank's son, said Tuesday in New York. "We were going to be celebrating my 9th birthday that night and my brother's 11th and my dad never came home."
The bombing is back in the headlines because Oscar Lopez Rivera, co-founder and leader FALN, is being honored as a national freedom hero in next week's Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Connor is joining the chorus of criticism over Lopez Rivera's honor and the decision by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to march with him.
"I would say to the mayor, he has a family, he has children. How would he expect his children to grow up knowing the person who murdered him was being honored and made a hero?" Connor said.
Connor appeared with Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican mayoral candidate who called on de Blasio to drop out of the parade. The mayor said last week he is still marching, but refused to answer reporters' questions Monday or Tuesday despite holding several public events.
Mark-Viverito and other Lopez Rivera supporters claim Rivera, who served 35 years in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Obama, was convicted of conspiracy and transporting explosives, not with personally detonating the bombs.
"He ain't no Cub Scout leader and he wasn't selling no brownies, he was in charge of a terrorist group," said John Ruiz, a Puerto Rican and 9/11 first responder now running to fill Mark-Viverito's soon-to-be-vacant City Council seat.
He said he won't march. Neither will Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Police Commissioner James O'Neill.
A number of sponsors, including Goya and JetBlue, have pulled their support.
The annual celebration of culture and heritage now continues to be overshadowed by politics.