Valentine’s Day Sentiments from the 9/11 Memorial Museum

A collection of scanned love notes show handwritten messages from John Vigiano Jr. to his wife and high school sweetheart, Maria.
A collection of love notes from John Vigiano Jr. to his wife and high school sweetheart, Maria. (Photo by 9/11 Memorial staff)

This Valentine’s Day, the 9/11 Memorial shares stories of love from the family of John T. Vigiano Jr., a third-generation New York City firefighter assigned to Ladder 132, who was killed in the line of duty on 9/11.

Vigiano, age 36 at the time of his death, is remembered by his wife and high school sweetheart, Maria, who donated drawings, notes and other keepsakes from her husband that she held onto throughout their marriage. All of these treasured mementos speak to the profound love he had for his wife, as suggested by the flower bouquets she would often receive with an affectionate note attached, always signed, “Love, Me.” The collection also includes a letter he had written and sealed in 1996 instructing, “to be opened in the event of my death,” in which he shared his profound gratitude for the life he enjoyed with his wife and his two young daughters, hoping that they would never have to read the enclosed sentiments. These items will be included in the touch-screen profile that his family and friends helped to create for the memorial exhibition when the museum when it opens in May.

In addition, his father, John Vigiano  Sr., a retired New York City firefighter, recorded a tender audio remembrance through StoryCorps, where he recalls his last words spoken to John and his younger brother, Joe, a NYPD police detective also killed in the line of duty on 9/11. Watch the animated short by StoryCorps of John Sr. as he reminisces about his sons and reflects on coping with their unfathomable loss. The names of John Vigiano Jr. and Joseph Vigiano are forever linked on the memorial.

By Margaret Barng, 9/11 Memorial Deputy Communications Manager

Previous Post

Bicycle Rack Recovered from WTC on Exhibit at 9/11 Memorial Museum

A bicycle rack from Vesey Street is displayed in the Museum before its opening. The rack was damaged and covered in dust and debris during the 9/11 attacks. A large image from Ground Zero stands to the left of the rack.

A bicycle rack found largely intact on Vesey Street after the attacks on September 11, will be a part of the historic 9/11 Memorial Museum when it opens this May.

View Blog Post

Next Post

Memorial Welcomes the Cast and Crew of “Bikeman”

The cast and crew of “Bikeman” stand beside a reflecting pool at Memorial plaza. They include Irungu Mutu, Elizabeth Ramos, Angela Pierce, Robert Cuccioli, Richard Topol, director Michael Bush, and author Thomas F. Flynn.

The 9/11 Memorial welcomed the cast and crew of the new play “Bikeman: A 9/11 Play” to a special evening tour of the plaza, where the group gained inspiration for their roles as survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks.

View Blog Post