Civilians, Survivors Give Back on 9/11

In Boston, people made care packages and donated blood on the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks

Millions of people across the country took time to volunteer or donate on Thursday, the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. 

On the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, volunteers made 500 care packages for soldiers.

"Specifically, what they're doing is they're building care packages that will be sent overseas," said Tom Crohan of the Mass. Military Heroes Fund. "...personal letters to the men and women serving overseas because we hear how much that means to them."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was there to make a care package.

"A lot of positive has come out through families and their strength. It's incredible. Today, for them, is a day of thinking back and I think every September 11th for our generation, we think back to where we were that day," Mayor Walsh said.

Sept. 11 was the prelude to a war and a decade of sacrifice and loss. The mother of the late Sgt. James Anthony Ayube II was at the Greenway to make care packages for soldiers who are still overseas.

"He was a medic and he would start clinics for kids over there and so I kind of do this in memory of other medics over there who are also helping the kids," she said.

Meanwhile, the 13th annual blood drive in remembrance of Sept. 11 was held at Fenway Park. Among the giving was Maura Heidcamp, a survivor of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I was on the 55th floor of the first tower that was hit. There were about 12 of us in that class and we had all made it out," Heidcamp said.

Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings also gave back at the blood drive.

"I've always been a proponent of giving blood and I've done it for many years myself, but having learned first hand how important it is has a whole new meaning for me," Heather Abbott explained.

"I went through 46 total blood products, so it's very important in my life and I'm forever grateful to the anonymous donors," added Dic Donohue, an MBTA police officer who was wounded in the aftermath of the bombings.

"So many people get injured or have been injured," said bombings survivor Roseann Sdoia. "I was almost depleted of all my blood. Had people not donated, or had they not had a supply, who knows what would have happened." 

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