Det Joseph Vigiano

Det Joseph Vigiano

Detective Joseph Vigiano was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while attempting to rescue the victims trapped in the World Trade Center. He was assigned to ESU Truck 2. 

Detective Vigiano was one of the department’s most decorated officers. He had been shot and wounded on three separate occasions during his career. Detective Vigiano had been employed with the New York City Police Department for 14 years, and is survived by his wife and three young sons. His brother, a New York City firefighter, was also killed in the attack.

From Newsday

Detective Vigiano was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department’s Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.Joseph Vigiano, 34, of Medford, was a New York City police detective with emergency services unit in Harlem. Joseph called his father, a retired New York City fire captain, and told him that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and he was heading to the site. His father told him to be careful and that he loved him.
“I love you Dad” were Joseph’s last words to his father. Joseph was last seen between the 30th and 35th floor of the north tower.
John Thomas Vigiano II, 36, of West Islip, was a firefighter with Ladder Company 132 in Brooklyn. He was last seen in the Marriott Hotel lobby, which was used by the fire department as a staging area. He was waiting to go into the south tower, said his father. John’s remains were never found.
John and Joseph were devoted to their wives and their children. John had two girls and Joseph had three boys. Both men loved their jobs. The brothers also shared one other trait: kindness.
One year, John got some firefighters from New York and New Jersey together for a hockey tournament to help out a stranger. The money raised went to help defer hospital costs for a young woman who was severely burned during an arson fire at a dormitory at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., said his father, John Vigiano Sr.
When a friend and colleague became ill and needed time away from work in order to receive treatment, Joseph stepped in and worked the officer’s shifts for him, said John Sr.
Before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, John Sr. was a typical retiree looking forward to his grandchildren’s birthday celebrations, attending their school plays and enjoying the occasional game of golf.
Since then and he his wife, Jeanette, have been guests at the White House and in the company of President George W. Bush and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“This isn’t me. I am a fireman. Now, all of a sudden I am doing things you could read about,” said John Sr. “I feel when I’m called to do anything, I have to put up a good front and honor my two sons.”
Several times a year, he makes his way to the Walter Reed hospital in Washington D.C., sometimes accompanied by his two grandsons, to visit wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We have a common bond. If Sept. 11 had not happen, they may not be in these beds. Because they are, I am here to say thank you.” – Chau Lam

Joe’s brother John, a FDNY firefighter, also died on 9/11

He was just 8 years old when his father and uncle both died in the line of duty on 9/11. Now, 23-year-old Joseph Vigiano Jr. has followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming an NYPD officer.
A former Marine, Vigiano was one of 600 recruits recently sworn in at a police academy in Queens, according to the New York Daily News.
“I’ve been waiting for this all my life,” Vigiano told the Daily News. “As a kid I always wanted to be a police officer or in the military and now I get to do both.”
His father, NYPD Detective Joseph Vigiano, was killed attempting to rescue those trapped in the World Trade Center. His uncle, John Vigiano Jr., was a third-generation FDNY firefighter and was also killed responding to the towers.
“My father truly did love his job and if I could just experience a fraction of that, it’ll be all worth it,” Vigiano told reporters.
Watch the animated short by StoryCorps of John Vigiano Sr., a retired FDNY firefighter, as he reminisces about his sons John Vigiano Jr. and Joseph Vigiano.
By 9/11 Memorial Staff


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