Category Archives: Families in the News

Melissa Pettignano wins Person of Distinction Award

Melissa Pettignano

By Art Schwartz Hudson Reporter Melissa Pettignano of Secaucus wears a lot of hats, describing herself as an “author, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and professional music artist.” Now she can add another feather to her cap: the recipient of the “Unsung Hero” Young Person of Distinction Award for 2014. The award was for her various community […]

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Daughter of FDNY firefighter killed on 9/11 to graduate from Fire Academy

By Caitlin Nolan New York Daily News Josephine Smith has lived by three words since her father, FDNY firefighter Kevin Smith, was killed in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks — “Make him proud.” And come Tuesday, when Smith, 34, graduates from the Fire Academy and becomes the first daughter of a firefighter killed on 9/11 […]

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9/11 memorial poster of Jackson Heights firefighter torn down; fiancée ‘hurt’

Poster courtesy of Tanya Villanueva Tepper

By Salvatore Licata Queens Courier Every year, on the anniversary of 9/11, Tanya Villanueva Tepper hangs a brand-new poster on a tree in Jackson Heights in memory of her fiancé Sergio Villanueva, a firefighter who perished during the terrorist attack. Normally, the poster remains affixed to the tree until Tepper replaces it. But this year, […]

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