They called him the "Little Giant."
Despite his 5-foot-5 frame, Robert DeAngelis, of West Hempstead, was a big man. He was strong, athletic, devoted, compassionate and brave.
He was a commissioner for the West Hempstead fire district, an ex-chief for the Lakeview Fire Department and a devout parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. He was also a friend, a father, a husband, a brother....and most of all, a hero.
On 9/11, DeAngelis, 47, was working on the 91st floor of Tower One, in the offices of Washington Group International, but when the World Trade Center was attacked, the long-time firefighter used his skills and experience to help evacuate his co-workers. He was last seen fielding telephone calls from worried family members of employees from within the World Trade Center, according to news reports. He never made it out.
To honor DeAngelis and all the brave firefighters who perished on 9/11, the Lakeview Volunteer Fire Department is holding a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday - the 10th anniversary of the attacks - at the firehouse on Woodfield Road.
"Bobby perished on 9/11 helping others, now its your turn to honor his memory and legacy and continue his service by donating a pint to save a life.
"Bobby perished on 9/11 helping others," Lakeview's Assistant Fire Chief, Heather Senti, said. "Now it's your turn to honor his memory and legacy and continue his service by donating a pint to save a life."