Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Angels Among Us

From an article in our local paper today:

It was a small story, really. A simple story. It was a story about 7-year-old Joel Enriquez, a second-grader at Sacred Heart Catholic School, who made a balloon-powered valentine to send to his mother in heaven.

But as Joel and his classmates gave the valentine a special sendoff, the wind blew and the balloons’ red, white and pink ribbons snagged the upper branches of a big barren tree — too far up for Joel and his teachers to reach, not far enough to reach Maria Enriquez in heaven.

That’s when Capt. Joe Millard and his crew from Fire Station 7 stepped in. On Feb. 16, a snowy and bitterly cold morning, they brought their ladder truck and climbed 45 feet to free the valentine.

Because the balloons had lost their helium, new balloons were attached, and this time Joel’s valentine bounced, bobbed and weaved its way up beyond the clouds.

That story, published in the Journal Star Feb. 17, made its way across the continent. Newspapers in Los Angeles, Dallas, Tallahassee, Fla., Massachusetts and Windsor, Ontario, reprinted the article.

Columnists recounted it as a reminder of what is good in a world filled with war and worries. A Dallas writer used it to remind Latinas to get checked for cancer, the disease that took Maria Enriquez in October 2005.

Be sure to read the original story from Feb. 17th as well. There is simply not enough coverage of stories like this in the news today. War, man's inhumanity to man, shock and titillation, and the callous partisanship of politics rule the day. But now and then a story like this shines through the fog of those things and reminds us of the better qualities inside us all.


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