John Vigiano, a former Marine and retired FDNY Captain has accomplished many things in his life, including the winning battle he waged with throat cancer in the 1980s. But his two greatest life accomplishments were his sons, NYPD Detective Joseph Vigiano and FDNY fireman John Vigiano II. John’s sons were taken from him on the morning of September 11 and the pain that his family and his sons’ families have endured has tested their strength.

John Vigiano II was married to his high school sweetheart Maria, a schoolteacher, and they had two lovely daughters. Joe was married to Kathy, also a police officer, and they have three sons.

He had a legendary career in the New York Police Department and was one of the youngest police officers to be promoted to the rank of Detective. Joe then went on to become one of the first Detectives in the NYPD’s elite Emergency Service (ESU). He was shot three times in his career and received two medals of valor and the combat cross along with the Purple Heart.

Twin Towers, a short documentary, was about Joe and his life in the NYPD. It was dedicated to both he and his brother and won an Academy Award in 2003.

In memory of his sons, John graciously volunteers his time and resources to help Gold Star families and wounded heroes. He became close friends with Gary Sinise while visiting the troops in Iraq. We welcome him to our stage tonight to honor our awardees.

John Vigiano, Sr., is a retired New York Fire Captain. On September 11, 2001, tragedy struck not just his city, but his family too. John and wife Jan lost two sons, Joe, an NYPD Detective and John, a DNYNY Firefighter.