Families of cops who died on 9/11 gifted painted portraits

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Dozens of family members of officers who died in the Sept. 11 terror attacks were given painted portraits Tuesday to honor their fallen loved ones.

James Vigiano, the 26-year-old son of the late NYPD Det. Joseph Vigiano, told The Post the portrait of his father was “unexpected.”

“My mother kind of didn’t tell me what we were coming in for,” said James, who followed in his father’s footsteps and graduated from the police academy last month. “She was just like ‘Hey, the PBA has something going on today. You’re driving me.’”

The 23 paintings were created by Officer Jonny Castro of the Philadelphia Police Department and presented to the families at the Police Benevolent Associations headquarters in Manhattan on Tuesday.

“When I see the families here I’m glad and sad,” PBA President Pat Lynch said. “We tend to walk into the room and start laughing with one another … but then I’m sad because I remember why we got to know each other, where we got to know each other.”

Castro said he’s painted over 1,000 paintings for first responders.

The NYC PBA unveils a new September 11th Memorial Wall in PBA headquarters featuring hand-painted portraits of the 23 NYPD members killed on September 11th, 2001
The NYC PBA unveils a new September 11th Memorial Wall in PBA headquarters featuring hand-painted portraits of the 23 NYPD members killed on September 11th, 2001.Gabriella Bass
Ronald and Geraldine Gillis parents of Art. Rodney Gillis is the installation  including a portrait of their son for the first time.
Ronald and Geraldine Gillis, parents of Art. Rodney Gillis, at the installation, which includes a portrait of their son.
Gabriella Bass

“These paintings are a special way for me to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” the 37-year-old artist said.

Vigiano’s brother, Joseph, who is also a cop in the 75th Precinct, said the artwork was “amazing.”

“Out of all the artwork I’ve seen in the last 20 years, that was one of the better ones,” he said. “They got the fine details correct.”

A photograph is taken of NYPD Officer Stephen Driscoll's portrait during the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial Wall at the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New Yor
A photograph is taken of NYPD Officer Stephen Driscoll’s portrait during the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial Wall at the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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