From Police Heroes, a book by author Chuck Whitlock:
Officer Thomas Gorman, forty-one, was a member of the Port Authority ESU and one of the first to respond to the call for help at the World Trade Center. He had worked for the Port Authority at Newark Airport and at the Bus Terminal before he was assigned to the Journal Square PATH station in Jersey City. Before he joined the Port Authority, he worked at the Bayonne Fire Department as a firefighter.
While he loved being a public safety officer, he lived for his family. He and his wife, Barbara, had three children: Patrick, Laura and Bridget. He was a fervent Giants fan and coached basketball and baseball teams. In his spare time, he loved to cook.
“He was just a very genuine person,” Barbara Gorman told a reporter for Newsday. “He told you what he thought, what he felt. But he would do whatever he could for you, and do his best. He was a man who worked hard but also knew how to enjoy life.”
Portraits of Grief, The New York Times
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 September 4, which happened to be the day that Officer Gorman’s eldest daughter, Laura, turned 15. Before he 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, Officer 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 his 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.