Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never forget

Chances are, you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing 11 years ago today. Personally, I was working evenings at the time, so I was still in bed when my wife called, asking me to tape CNN because someone had just crashed a plane into the World Trade Center. Still groggy, I walked in and turned on the TV, but nothing I was seeing made any sense, so I had to call my wife back and ask what just happened. The rest of September 11, 2001 and the days and weeks that followed were largely spent asking that same question, as the world came to grips with the enormity of the terrorist attacks.

Here at the Red Cross, Executive Director Nancy Blaschak recalls watching the Towers fall with fellow staff members in the Board room of the Clement Mansion. Along with the shock that everyone felt that morning, they knew that the Red Cross would soon be called into action. With air travel shut down across the nation, dozens of local volunteers soon loaded into cars and drove the six or so hours toward Ground Zero, where they were among the first Red Cross volunteers to arrive. The relief efforts would last for weeks, as seen in this slideshow from the American Red Cross in Greater New York.

Locally, we continue to support and work with the Western New York Families of September 11th, who held their annual memorial vigil here Sunday night. The candlelight service remembered all those who lost their lives that tragic day, including the 26 victims with connections to Western New York. Family member Leigh Macadlo, who lost her brother Leonard Castrianno on 9/11, discussed the meaning of this day with Mary Friona of Channel 2 from the front lawn of the Clement Mansion this morning, where their flag tribute remains on display

The American Red Cross encourages everyone to take time out on this day of remembrance, and to never forget September 11, 2001.