The attack on America 15 years ago, on 9/11, 2001 brought out the best in people.
“Within the first 48 hours, the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio had deployed emergency response vehicles and workers (most of them volunteers) to both New York and Pennsylvania,” according to Debbie Chitester, Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross of Summit, Portage and Medina Counties.
Debbie went to New York with about two dozen other workers from Northeast Ohio. In this video, she recalls the role the Red Cross played in the days immediately after the attack at Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were brought down. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum now stands at the site.
“It’s still very emotional for me,” Debbie added, “especially at this time of year.”
Northeast Ohio Red Cross Workers were also deployed to Shanksville, Pa., where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after the passengers fought the terrorists who had hijacked the plane. The role the Red Cross played is acknowledged at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, which is about a three and-a-half hour drive southeast of Cleveland.
In 2009, Congress designated September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of the sacrifice so many made on that day, many people donate blood at one of the numerous Red Cross blood drives held across the country, not only on 9/11, but also on the days preceding and following the anniversary of the attack.
If you feel so inclined to donate blood, in honor of those innocent Americans who lost their lives in the attacks 15 years ago, you can find the blood drive nearest you at redcrossblood.org.