When the twin towers fell on September 11, 2001, it was anticipated that some of the survivors would be sent to Pittsburgh’s major medical centers for treatment.
While the American Red Cross does not normally distribute blood in Pittsburgh, the Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region contacted the area’s Central Blood Bank, offering to support them with Pittsburgh’s blood needs. Just a few hours later, the goodwill was reciprocated when the Central Blood Bank learned of the Shanksville, Pa. crash of Flight 93 and offered to provide additional blood to the Greater Alleghenies region should they need it.
After the terrorist attacks, blood wasn’t needed as originally anticipated, so the Greater Alleghenies region scheduled future blood drives honoring the heroes of September 11. Nine years later, the region continues to have honorary drives—this year, five blood drives honoring our heroes are scheduled.
In honor of the victims and heroes of the September 11 attacks, the Michigan International Speedway began hosting the Spirit of America blood drive events to reinforce and demonstrate a spirit of selflessness, compassion and patriotism. Last year, over 1,200 units of blood were collected in a single day.
Since its inception in 2002, this annual blood drive has collected more than 6,000 units of blood. The American Red Cross Great Lakes Region has taken 1,500 appointments for this weekend’s event, and the Spirit of America blood drives have proven to be among the largest single-day blood drives in the country.
Similarly, in 2003 the Boston Red Sox, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Red Cross started a tradition called the “Day of Remembrance Blood Drive” at Fenway Park. To date, nearly 5,000 units of blood have been donated through the Red Cross at Fenway Park alone in commemoration of the tragic events of September 11..
The Day of Remembrance drives have since expanded to other locations throughout the northeast, resulting in 10,537 units of blood so far. This year, the sponsors are trying to break the record and are hoping for more than 1,000 blood donations at Fenway Park.
You can help save up to three lives with each blood donation—visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment today.