Massive blood drive at MIS honors 9/11

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BROOKLYN, Mich. (WLNS) — While memorials happen across the country, people are also remembering the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks by giving the gift of life.

When the events of 9/11 happened, people rushed to give blood.

It’s something that continues to happen 16 years later in mid-Michigan.

The Spirit of America Blood Drive has been pumping every Sept. 11 since 2002.

“They took a call to action to pay it forward for patients and donors in need, but also to give tribute to the victims and have it be a very positive experience coming from it,” said Heidi Seitz, manager of donor recruitment for Michigan Blood.

Held at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and organized by Michigan Blood, it continues as the biggest blood drive in the state.

“And we’re proud to have about 835 people registered to donate,” Seitz said.

One of them is Jan Ganzel, and officer at Blackman-Leoni Township Public Safety.

He says 9/11 continues to be an important day for law enforcement.

“Especially for those who were on the job when it happened and for those of us who have come since. Donating blood, it’s just a simple thing everyone can do to help pay it back,” Ganzel said.

After they were done donating, trams took donors for a ride around the track at MIS and to a special museum.

The museum displays the events of 9/11, including newspapers and a tribute to the Michigan natives killed in the attacks.

Also on the grounds was a display of nearly 3,000 small American flags.

Each one represented a life lost on 9/11.

Jim Thomas drove 90 minutes from suburban Detroit just to keep the giving spirit alive.

“I make sure I do this one every year. Definitely worth the time knowing that someone’s getting my blood,” Thomas said.

If you’d like to give blood, visit this link for more information: http://www.miblood.org/

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