New York’s Bravest honored at ceremony outside MCU Park

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A special night: Rabbi Patasnik addressed those gathered.
Pipes and drums: The Fire Department’s Emerald Society provided music for the ceremony.
Stars and stripes: This year was the first time probational firefighters held the ceremonial flag.
Some gave all: The wall honors those who died on 9-11.

It was a night to remember someone who remembered everyone else.

New York’s Bravest were out in force Friday evening for the tenth annual “Heroes Night” at the Wall of Remembrance outside MCU Park in Coney Island. Firefighters formed a line that stretched the length of the monument, and a prayer ceremony was held in front of the wall, which stands as a tribute to lives lost on 9–11.

“The important thing is, they should never be forgotten,” said monument founder Sol Moglen. “It’s like a torch that you pass to the next generation.”

This years ceremony also honored the life of retired FDNY Capt. John Vigiano Sr., who lost two sons, Firefighter John Vigiano, Jr. and NYPD Detective Joseph Vigiano, when they were killed on 9–11.

After suffering that tragic loss, the elder Vigiano devoted his life to helping fellow first responders. He passed away this month at age 79 after a battle with cancer.

“Here was a guy whose heart was broken, and yet it didn’t stop him from bringing strength to others,” Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, a former FDNY chaplain, said of Vigiano. “A rare person, a real hero.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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