Father of five sons, husband to Luba Baktis (nee Dedula), grandfather to ten grandchildren, retired N.Y.C. Firefighter, Truck #111, Engine #214, Brooklyn, New York 14 years of service. Served in U.S. Marine Corps. and U.S. Army WW11. Second photo shows pop receiving an Metal "William H. Todd" from Mayor Wagner for saving the life of 3 children in an inferno on December 30, 1961. He was the last of his brothers to reach Heaven's Gate. His brothers Frank Baktis Peter P. Baktis and Simon J. Baktis, and daughter in law, Linda A. Baktis, also memoralized on FAG.
WHAT IS A FIREMAN?
He's the guy next door, a man's man with the memory of a little boy. He has never gotten over the excitement of engines and sirens and smoke and danger.
He's a guy like you and me with worries and unfulfilled dreams.
Yet he stands taller than most of us.
HE IS A FIREMAN.
He puts it all on the line when the bell rings.
A fireman is at once the most fortunate and the least fortunate of all men. He's a man who saves lives because he has seen too much death.
He's a gentle man because he has seen the awesome power of violence out of control. He's responsive to a child's laughter because his arms have held too many small bodies that will never laugh again.
He's a man who appreciates the simple pleausres of life...hot coffee held in numb, unbending fingers - a warm bed for bone and muscle compelled beyond feeling - the camarderie of brave men - the deving peace and selfless seervice of a job well done in the name of all men.
He doesn't wear buttons or wave flags or shout obsecenities. When he marches, it is to honor a fallen comrade.
He doesn't preach the brotherhood of men, He lives it!