Firefighter moved by student’s letter, surprises her with gift of thanks

Published 7:16 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

LaGrange Firefighter James Ormsby was so moved by a letter of support he received from a local student, he wanted to say thank you in person on Sept. 11.

James Ormsby, who received minor injuries in the Labor Day structure fire, said he became emotional when he received a letter of support from Hogansville Elementary fifth grade student Hayden Myers.

In a letter addressed to Myers, James wrote to her in a letter that he presented to her on Tuesday, Sept. 11, “Your letter reminds me of the good that’s in all of us. I want to present you with a gift,” he said.

Ormsby presented her with a rock from the aftermath of 9/11. The New Jersey native was on the scene after the events of that day.

“This is a symbol from a tragedy that happened on this day 17 years ago. It represents the commitment that people will go through to help each other out,” Ormsby said. “When you look at this piece of history, I hope you feel the same sense of pride and joy that I feel when I see and read your letter. I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Ormsby wanted the meeting to be a surprise for Myers. Her mom and grandfather were surrounding her as well as her school principal and teacher.

“She was surprised something she wrote had such an impact on and adult and firefighter,” said Hogansville Elementary Principal Gina Turner. “This is an experience that will stay with her the rest of her life.”

Hayden plans to talk to her classmates about her experience later this week. It was also a request from Ormsby that she let the other students know how much the letters are appreciated by all the firefighters. Cards of support and donations can be sent to the LaGrange Fire Department at 115 Hill Street, LaGrange, GA 30240.