By Ayala Ben-Yehuda
A son of Bayside who became a decorated firefighter and died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 will have the street he grew up on renamed in his honor.
At a ceremony scheduled for Saturday, 42nd Avenue between 201st and 202nd Streets will be named for Vincent F. Giammona, a Bayside native and 17-year Fire Department veteran who was stationed at Ladder Co. 5 in Greenwich Village when he was killed on his 40th birthday.
“This would be really important to my husband because he grew up in the area,” said Giammona’s wife, Theresa, 33, who said they often returned to his parents’ house in Bayside for family dinners even after moving to Valley Stream, L.I. seven years ago.
“To Vinny, that was always home,” she said.
The firefighter grew up at 201-22 42nd Ave. with three siblings, his mother and his father, a Fire Department captain.
Giammona attended grammar school at St. Kevin’s and graduated from St. Francis Prep in 1979, according to a letter written by his brother Steven to City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) requesting the street renaming.
Giammona attended Queens College and SUNY Binghamton, then worked for the Port Authority before joining the Fire Department in 1984. He also coached Little League in Bayside and maintained his connection to Bayside after his parents moved to Connecticut in 2000 by taking second jobs at neighborhood bars, according to Steven Giammona.
Vincent’s sister, Linda, 34, recalled her father and brother, a member of the St. Francis Prep track team, running in Cunningham Park together.
She said Giammona was “more than a brother — a best friend.”
“He would make you feel like you’d known him forever even if you had only known him for five minutes,” said Giammona, a development director at Fordham University.
She said that even though his birthday was Sept. 11, her brother had thrown himself a party two weeks earlier so as not to interfere with her wedding plans.
“It’s almost as if he realized time was so short,” said Linda Giammona.
Before joining his Manhattan firehouse, Giammona was stationed at Ladder Co. 136 in Corona and Ladder Co. 103 in East New York, Brooklyn.
He reached the rank of lieutenant before he was killed, and was posthumously promoted to captain.
Theresa Giammona said she often brought the couple’s four young daughters — Francesca, Toni-Ann, Nicolette and Daniella — to Bayside and planned to visit the newly renamed street with them in the future.
“It’s part of his legacy,” she said.
Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 146.