New York Post
October 31, 2001

HEAVEN'S MY DAD'S BEAT: SON

LARRY CELONA, CLEMENTE LISI and BILL HOFFMANN

The 8-year-old son of fallen Detective Joseph Vigiano said yesterday his hero dad has a brand-new job: patrolling heaven.

"God has made my dad one of his police officers. He's now protecting heaven," the youngster, also named Joseph, said at his father's funeral. "My dad is the best police officer I know. Everyone calls my dad a hero. I always knew my dad was a hero."

Young Joseph's stirring words — before a sea of blue uniforms, Mayor Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Patchogue, L.I. — came as the elder Vigiano, 34, was laid to rest.

The 14-year police vet, a member of Emergency Service Truck 2, died as he tried to save lives at the World Trade Center. His firefighter brother, John Vigiano, remains missing at ground zero.

Besides his wife, Kathy, and Joseph, he leaves sons, Jimmy, 6, and John, 4 months; and his parents, John and Jeannette.

Vigiano's father, John, a retired fire captain, recalled his son as "a helluva cop who never lost his sense of humor. He always managed to turn something serious into something humorous."

Meanwhile, in upstate Middletown, a pipe-and-drum band led the family of Lt. Peter Freund, of Engine 55, through a row of firefighters and hundreds of mourners into Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

The 45-year-old Virginia native — a 22-year veteran — was last seen running into the north tower. He was remembered for his heroism moments before the collapse.

In Woodside, Queens, thousands crammed St. Theresa's Church to bid farewell to firefighter Matthew Garvey, a former Marine who was remembered as "a natural leader who loved being a fireman."

"Garvey was the epitome of the strong, silent type," said firefighter Joseph O'Donnell, a Squad 1 colleague. "He was also a dedicated firefighter who loved the outdoors and was working toward a college degree."

Also memorialized was firefighter Nicholas Rossomando, 35, of Rescue 5 on Staten Island.