Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11: A Day of Remembrance

by Anita Foster, Chief Communications Officer, American Red Cross North Texas Region

Ground Zero Badge
Last night, I got out my 9/11 memory box. It doesn't have much in it because honestly, most of what we experienced while on assignment would be best left behind. But I did keep my Ground Zero badge and today, like every year since September 11, I'll wear it on my lanyard as a reminder of every family, emergency worker, New Yorker and fellow Red Crosser who crossed my path during my time in New York City. 

My box also has some magazines from the time, a few patriotic buttons, a handful of printed photos from our first fundraising drive at the Ballpark in Arlington the day after the attacks and a heartfelt letter that Hugo Esparza from the Fort Worth Fire Department sent me when I returned. 

Even though there's not much in my memory box, I still keep it because it reminds me that while it's so important for all of us to keep moving ahead, it's also okay to take the time to reflect back and remember. 

Red Cross response vehicle near Ground Zero that morning
Today, the Leo Potishman Foundation in Fort Worth will be donating a brand new Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) for the Red Cross in North Texas. We'll dedicate the ERV in remembrance of 9/11 and our relief workers who endured the response. We have no doubt that this vehicle will be used to help families in the near future.

Thirteen years ago, a vehicle that looks exactly like the one we're receiving today was crushed underneath the debris at Ground Zero. That's because the Red Cross was at the scene within minutes of the first plane hitting the first tower. For the following weeks, months and years, the Red Cross continued to help. Here's a brief re-cap of our services following 9/11:
  • Helped 3,300 families who lost a loved one or had someone seriously injured. 
  • Provided assistance for 54,700 families who lost a home near Ground Zero, or lost a job and income
  • Distributed 14 million meals and snacks to families and emergency workers
  • Supported 237,000 Americans with mental health services
  • Helped 113,000 people affected with health services
The response from the American people is what allowed the American Red Cross to provide so much help and on this day of remembrance, that's what I'm thinking about. And I encourage you to think back to the many ways you helped. Maybe you gave blood, donated funds or tied ribbons on car antenna's. We all did our part. Let's keep those memories close to our hearts today as we reflect back on an unspeakable day, and pledge to be of continued service to our communities as we press forward.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The American Red Cross-North Texas Region does not moderate comments prior to posting, and we gladly welcome your comments — supportive, dissenting, questioning or otherwise. In general, we do not delete or censor comments unless they:

· contain excessive profanity
· contain harsh or offensive language
· use flaming or threatening language
· are abusive
· are off-topic or an inappropriate tangent
· are blatantly spam
· promote or advertise businesses
· personally attack the blogger or other commenters

While the American Red Cross-North Texas Region seeks to inspire, educate and excite its readers, this blog is a resource for the community and inappropriate comments will not be allowed. Participants who violate this Comment Policy may be blocked from future access and/or commenting on this blog.