Roslyn Youth To The Rescue

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From left: Peter Liotta, Sr., Peter Liotta, Jr., Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Daniel Roper and his family, Deana, Diana and Robert Roper during a presentation ceremony where the boys received citations for their bravery.

The pride of Roslyn is its volunteer fire departments—and it seems that the courage those men have long displayed is influencing the actions of their offspring.

As the summer of 2017 was coming to an end, there was time for one more act of heroism involving the curse of the summer months: swimming accidents.

Roslyn area residents Peter Liotta Jr. and Daniel Roper are both 11 years old. Recently, they were with a friend and his father on a small motorboat on Long Island Sound. While enjoying the day, their friend was swimming when his father saw him struggling with a strong current. The father jumped in, only to be caught up in the current as well.

An enormous tragedy was looming. Neither Peter nor Daniel jumped in the water themselves. However, in an action that would make both of their fathers proud, they cast a life ring out to their friend. That wasn’t all. Using the experience gained by watching their fathers in action, the two also called the Coast Guard to help save the father and son.

Luckily, another family was also out sailing that day. The Lemonda family saw the struggling man and pulled him into their boat. Mission accomplished.

For their heroism, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton recently presented citations to the two young heroes. Needless to say, the boys’ parents couldn’t be prouder.

“Robert Roper and I have been volunteer firefighters for decades,” said Peter Liotta Sr. “With all the bad things we see and that are going on these days, it’s so heartwarming when great things like this happen. We’re all very proud of Peter and Daniel.”

Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton agrees wholeheartedly and commends Peter and Daniel for their quick actions that saved their friend’s life.

No one should be surprised by Peter and Daniel’s actions. Peter Liotta Sr. was a longtime chief of Roslyn Rescue and is currently president of the famed volunteer company. And on this anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, don’t forget that Roslyn Rescue also produced two heroes of that tragic day: Thomas and Peter Langone, both of whom perished in the World Trade Center, but both of whom are remembered with a plaque at the Roslyn Rescue firehouse. And so, the great tradition of heroism in Roslyn goes on.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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