I was sitting in my sixth-grade science classroom chatting carelessly with my table-mates when our school’s Dean entered the room with a look of sullen shock on his face. He proceeded to tell us of the horrific attacks that had just occurred in New York City. A silent panic swept over the room.
Every American old enough to remember 9/11 has a similar memory. It is a memory ingrained by fear, forever in their minds of where they were and what they were doing the minute they learned of or witnessed the 9/11 tragedies eleven years ago.
With those grief-stricken recollections there is also the remembrance of the unity, bravery, and self sacrifice that such a devastating event brought out in the American spirit.
Members of the American Red Cross of Greater New York rushed to the scene after the first plane hit the North Tower. Throughout the disaster volunteers showed up from all areas of the New York region and across the country to help in the response effort.
Red Cross 9/11 disaster relief operations included:
- More than 14 million meals and snacks served
- 60 shelters opened for 3,554 families
- 101 sites opened to deliver services
- 292 emergency vehicles deployed
- 57,434 Red Cross employees and volunteers assigned from all 50 states
- 240,417 mental health contacts and 133,035 health contacts made either in person or by phone by Red Cross employees and volunteers
Here’s to all the heroes who gave their time, money, and even their lives to turn a day of loss and mourning into a day of hope and compassion. We will never forget.