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To Help A Firefighter
ONE MONTH after the Attack on America, as I toured the New York City Red Cross Family Assistance Center, I saw a uniformed fireman walking out of an enclosure that contained ...

William Garvey, Writer/Photographer; Damage Prevention Supervisor for a Michigan gas Company


Let them know you care

ONE MONTH after the Attack on America, as I toured the New York City Red Cross Family Assistance Center, I saw a uniformed fireman walking out of an enclosure that contained playing children.

When I asked about them I was told, “Many adults are here for assistance. They need someone to watch their kids while they go through the red tape. Several kids have no place to go because their parents aren’t here anymore. We’re trying to find someone to help them.”

“There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:25, 26)

As I walked through the corridor of offices separated by curtains, I learned families came here for counsel to help them get through the loss and subsequent hurt. My eyes met those of a young woman being counseled. Her tear-streaked face cut through to my soul. I thought to myself, Dear God, please help us to dry some of these tears! Then I pondered what I could do.

As I humbly ate lunch alongside firefighters still dusty and tired from a hard day of searching, I knew I sat among the best of the best in America. What a blessing! While eating, I was startled by a crashing sound. Turning quickly, I saw the firefighter who’d thrown his helmet against the lockers. Concerned, I asked why.

“Today is the last day of searching. Many of the missing haven’t been found. Tomorrow the big equipment comes in and to the fireman, it’s his job to find his brothers and sisters.”

Another person said, “You couldn’t have come on a better day. The firefighters need to know others are praying for them.”

As I left, I stopped by a life-sized photo of the firefighters raising the “Flag at Ground Zero.” The wall was decorated with pictures and words of thanks to the first responders—most drawn or written in crayon by children. With tears in my eyes, I read “thank you” and “I love you” notes, wondering the whole time how others could help these firefighters smile again.

While driving home, I found the answer. To help the firefighters find peace, we needed to let them know we cared. Just like they did and were doing as they caringly searched for those lost in the rubble.


May I forever remember the sacrifices made after the Attack on America. May I rejoice when others are rejoicing, be compassionate to those who are suffering, and turn my suffering over to you.


Natalie Garvey Helps Turn Tears to Smiles (Courtesy of William Garvey)

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