The Jersey City community has come together again to give back as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches.
More than 200 people signed up to donate blood at the 8th Annual Jersey City 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive. Many of the volunteers were first responders and some responded on the day of the attack.
“Twenty-one years ago, many police, firefighters, and medical personnel were in New York City, myself included, and lessons were learned,” said Jersey City’s director of emergency management and homeland security. says one Greg Kearse.
Kearse was a police officer in 2001. He cannot donate blood for his 9/11-related health reasons. His daughter, who is a police chief, is donating on his behalf.
“A lot of the assets that were sent to New York City came out of Jersey City, and it still appeals to us,” says Kearse.
Other police, firefighters, EMTs, employees of local businesses, and community members who donated at the event. It was sponsored by the Red Cross and New Jersey-based Suburban Propane.
Suburban Propane President and CEO Michael Stibala said:
Each year, Hyatt donates space for blood donations. Located on the Jersey City waterfront, it’s the ideal place to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. The waterfront served as a triage area for many fleeing the attack, and as a staging area for first responders in the weeks that followed.
“We are looking at the scene directly across from where this horrific event happened, and it was this crew who responded. It’s very special to be able to do that,” said Rosie Talavera, Regional CEO of the New Jersey Red Cross.
The Red Cross says events like this helped the organization return its blood supply to acceptable levels.