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