New York Post
October 29, 2001

8-YEAR-OLD SON TO EULOGIZE COP

LARRY CELONA

As most kids were putting the finishing touches on their Halloween costumes, 8-year-old Joe Vigiano yesterday was finishing writing a eulogy for his dad.

The boy plans to read a letter he wrote to his 34-year-old hero father, NYPD Officer Joseph Vigiano, at his dad's funeral tomorrow morning at Mount St. Carmel Church in Patchogue, L.I.

Little Joe, Vigiano's eldest son, could tell people about how his dad once cut the patches from an old Emergency Services Unit uniform and hand-sewed them onto one of the boy's Cub Scout shirts to make him feel important. And how now, the little boy won't take the shirt off.

Or that his dad was set to become a Cub Scout master for the Joe's troop on the night of Sept. 11.

Instead, that morning, his dad rushed to the World Trade Center - and died in the collapse of the Twin Towers. Also killed was Vigiano's firefighter brother, John.

"Everyone knows Joe was a great cop. But not everyone knows he was an even better father," said Vigiano's grieving widow, Kathy, herself an NYPD officer and mom to Joe and his two brothers, Jimmy, 6, and John, 4 months.

Vigiano's skill and bravery won him many awards in the past - as well as the attention of Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who personally singled him out for a promotion to detective second- grade.

Kerik still keeps a photo on his office desk of him and Vigiano climbing the Brooklyn Bridge - with the Twin Towers in the background - during an exercise in which the commish was participating.

The last that Kathy Vigiano heard of her husband, he was in the north tower, helping a fireman on the third floor.

"I'm not surprised," she said. "Joe wouldn't have left until the last person was out."