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An Unexpected Gift for a Hero

After September 11th, many Americans gave thanks to the heroic rescue workers. One EMT received something even more.

Anthony Gorman

An article in Guideposts, Help at Ground Zero, told about my work as an Emergency Medical Technician following the World Trade Center disaster. Many readers sent cards, notes, prayers, photos and other tokens of their good wishes.

But Mrs. McCoy’s fifth-grade class at Starkville Academy in Starkville, Mississippi really went all out. They sent me a care package stuffed with practical items.

There was eyewash and lip balm to combat the dust at Ground Zero along with some pins and “pocket angels” (pewter coins embossed with the image of an angel), each glued to a small card decorated with spiritual and patriotic messages and signed by the students.

I set about dividing up the care package for EMS, fire, police and other rescue and recovery workers. I put an angel or two into each envelope.

I mailed one envelope to EMT Anthony Gorman, who had lost his best friend, Matt, shortly before September 11. The two were very close and he felt his friend’s death like the loss of a brother. Amid all the tragedy in the wake of September 11, Anthony missed Matt a great deal.

I ran into Anthony a couple weeks later. He gave me a big hug and said, “I have to tell you a story.”

“I’d been feeling pretty down when I got that envelope. I opened it and inside was an angel attached to this hand-drawn card that said, ‘God Bless You.’ Guess who it was sent by? A fifth-grader…named Matt!”

Anthony felt his friend’s presence, as though Matt were keeping an eye on him while New York City was caught up in turmoil.

That angel sent by a Mississippi schoolboy to a New York City EMT had reached just the right person at just the right time.

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