9/11 – StoryCorps
Give by 9/30 & your gift will have 2x the impact! Donate

A family’s legacy of service, sacrifice, and fatherhood after 9/11

Top photo: Joseph Vigiano and John Vigiano Jr. with their father, John Vigiano Sr. circa 1994. Courtesy of Joseph Vigiano.

We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary by revisiting classic StoryCorps conversations from our first two decades and sharing updates on participants. 

(Left) Detective Joseph Vigiano, Firefighter John Vigiano II circa 1996. (Right) Police Officer Joseph Vigiano, Police Officer James Vigiano in April of 2023. Courtesy of Joseph Vigiano.

John Vigiano Sr. came to StoryCorps in 2007 to talk about his sons, Joseph and John Vigiano Jr., who both died in the line of duty during the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. 

Joseph Vigiano with his father and brother, James Vigiano circa 1998. Courtesy of Joseph Vigiano.

In 2023 his grandson, Joseph Vigiano, came to StoryCorps to reflect on fatherhood and his family’s legacy.

Joseph and Kathleen Vigiano circa 1989. Courtesy of Joseph Vigiano. 

 

Jennifer and Joseph Vigiano with their son and Police Commissioner Edward Caban in March of 2023. Courtesy of Joseph Vigiano. 

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired on September 11, 2009. Rebroadcast with update on September 8, 2023 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Touched By Tragedy Twice: Father, Who Later Died from COVID, Remembers Losing Son on 9/11

Albert Petrocelli Sr. survived more than his share of hardships during his 73 years.

As a young man, he fought in Vietnam. Returning to his native New York City, he started a long career fighting fires, eventually rising to the rank of Battalion Chief. Then, a year after retiring, Chief Petrocelli lost his youngest son, Mark, a commodities broker, in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. 

But what war, fire, and unspeakable grief couldn’t do, a global pandemic did. On April 1, 2020, Chief Petrocelli died from COVID-19.

Before his death, Chief Petrocelli and his wife, Ginger, recorded a remembrance of their son Mark. They remember the last time they saw him, on September 9, 2001, at one of their family’s weekly Sunday meals. 

This recording was made in partnership with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as part of StoryCorps’ effort to collect one recording for each life lost that day.

Top Photo: Ginger Petrocelli and Retired New York City Fire Chief Albert Petrocelli in 2017, at their 50th wedding anniversary. Courtesy of the Petrocelli family.
Middle Photo: Retired New York City Fire Chief Albert Petrocelli in 2002, with a photo of Mark that he carried inside his hat. Courtesy of the Petrocelli family.
Bottom Photo: Albert Petrocelli Jr., Mark Petrocelli, and Albert Petrocelli Sr. on Father’s Day 1989, at Mark’s home in New York. Courtesy of the Petrocelli family.

Originally aired September 11, 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.