The Islip Town board has unanimously approved plans to rename an intersection after 9/11 first responder and FDNY Captain Vincent R. Ungaro, who died last year of leukemia.
The intersection of Broadway Avenue and Inverness Road in Holbrook will be named “FDNY Captain Vincent Ungaro Way,” in memory of the firefighter, who was a 30-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department and led a station in Brooklyn. The board approved the change at its Nov. 21 meeting.
“His willingness to go and help out after that devastating disaster cost him his life,” Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said Monday. “This will be some small token to honor his life.”
Ungaro, a Holbrook resident, had publicly advocated for first responders who developed health problems after responding to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Despite his own illness, Ungaro maintained a positive outlook in life, his widow, Diane Ungaro, said last week.
“He always said that he had 15 extra years — because many of his friends died on 9/11 — so he was thankful and grateful for that,” she said. He died Oct. 1, 2016 at age 60.
Vincent Ungaro said at a public hearing in 2011 in West Islip that funds should be appropriated more quickly for first responders suffering from cancer and other serious ailments linked to their exposure at Ground Zero.
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He won widespread admiration for his efforts, with more than 1,000 people attending his funeral in Sayville last year, including hundreds of firefighters from the Bronx, Brooklyn and across Long Island.
“I don’t want people to forget about him and about what happened to our country,” Diane Ungaro said. “There were many men and women that made sacrifices, and not everyone gets a street named after them. It makes me very proud.”
She said officials have left it to the family to decide when to have a dedication ceremony and she anticipates officially unveiling the intersection’s new name in the spring.