Babylon Honors FDNY Captain Who Lost Sons on 9/11, Renames Deer Park Street

Newsday - May 12, 2019

by Joan Gralla

The FDNY officials who spoke included Captain Mark Gregory, who served with Vigiano's elder son, firefighter John T. Vigiano II, in Brooklyn's Ladder 132.

The new green and white street sign, Captain John Vigiano Memorial Avenue, is modest — in keeping with the hero whose name it bears, enshrining the former FDNY firefighter's ties to Deer Park, as well as his two sons who perished while trying to save lives on 9/11.

"It's the American tragedy; it's the American dream," said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).

On Saturday, the Town of Babylon made official the renaming of a portion of Long Island Avenue in Deer Park in honor of John Vigiano, who retired in 1998 and died of cancer in July 2018.

"John was a tough guy," King said, reflecting on Vigiano's immense bravery despite the unspeakable grief and horror of losing his only children, his extraordinary career and his exceptional generosity that led him to organize visits and outings for soldiers wounded in Gulf War battles at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"If he disagreed with you, he would let you know," King said, recalling President George W. Bush, who met with Vigiano several times and nicknamed him "John the Big."

King spoke at the ceremony, attended by the family, Democrats County Executive Steve Bellone and Babylon Town supervisor Rich Schaffer, a few hundred FDNY firefighters, bagpipers, friends and dignitaries. His wife, Jan Vigiano, was also on hand and talked about her late husband's efforts to honor his sons' memory.

The FDNY officials who spoke included Capt. Mark Gregory, who served with Vigiano's elder son, Firefighter John T. Vigiano II, at Brooklyn's Ladder 132.