Sunday, September 11, 2011

It Happened on a Tuesday

Ten years ago today, after making my way home from work and picking my up my daughter from daycare, I headed over to the Red Cross offices in Columbia Town Center to donate blood. I just felt like I had to do something besides sit at home watching endless replays of the attacks on TV.

I wasn’t the only one who felt this inclination. By the time I arrived a line of people snaked all the way down to Little Patuxent Parkway from 10 Corporate Center. Soon after that the Red Cross instituted a sign up sheet so people wouldn't have to stand in line.  It quickly ran to several pages. I recall that my own number was somewhere in the three digits

After that people camped out on the green spaces around the building, patiently waiting to be called. Some newcomers bought food to share, others bought soda and water. No one seemed to want to leave, even though by late afternoon it had become obvious that most were not going to be called to give that day.

Later in the evening, a loco realtor arrived with a television which was then set up just outside the Red Cross offices so the people could watch President Bush address the nation. It wasn’t until after the speech that people began to drift home. Isabella Campolattaro, the Red Cross representative that day, had told everyone that they’d call us if they needed us.

I never got that call.
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