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Officer Thomas Edward Gorman


Officer Gorman's Act of Heroism

Over 400 first responders lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Heroically performing their sworn duty, these firefighters, members of the NYPD and PAPD, and numerous other rescue workers will forever be remembered for their sacrifice.

My Hero

Some people like to imagine how they would spend their days if they learned that they had only one week to live. Thomas E. Gorman seems to have spent his last seven days as if he had some inkling of what was to come.

The week began on Sept. 4, which happened to be the day that Mr. Gorman's eldest daughter, Laura, turned 15. Before Mr. Gorman left for his job as a police officer with the Port Authority's emergency services unit in Jersey City, he left Laura a "Happy Birthday" note on the kitchen table of their home in Middlesex, N.J. He cooked dinner that night and passed around slices of cake to his wife, Barbara, and their three children.

Two days later, Mr. Gorman, 41, invited his friends to a golf outing to raise money for the Middlesex Little League. Fathers of Little League players showed up, as did some of Mr. Gorman's co-workers.

That same week also found him celebrating his wife's birthday, the two of them riding in his motorboat up Barnegat Bay. They stopped at a lighthouse and collected seashells and driftwood. Their getaway ended with dinner at a seashore restaurant as darkness settled.

Days later, Mrs. Gorman watched from her car on her way to work as an airplane crashed into 1 World Trade Center. Miles away, her husband climbed into a rescue truck. It was the end of a very full week.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 7, 2001.
Information courtesy of the Remember 9/11/2001 memorial site on


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