East Tennessee law enforcement, first responders donating blood to honor 9/11 victims - We Are The Mighty
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East Tennessee law enforcement, first responders donating blood to honor 9/11 victims

First responders, including the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Tennessee (UT) Police, Rural Metro and Tennessee Highway Patrol, are coming together to honor those who gave their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The event is taking place over the anniversary in Knoxville, Tennessee, and surrounding areas. 

Remembering the badges

Local law enforcement in Knoxville, Tennessee, is doing something special this year, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, to pay tribute to the lives lost on that fateful day. As a result of the 9/11 attacks, 2,977 people died.

The campaign Knoxville law enforcement is planning is called “Remembering the Badges.” It is a blood drive to collect the same number of pints of blood as lives lost that day, so 2,977 pints of blood. It’s a very direct way to remember the people who gave their lives protecting the community.

To promote the campaign and boost participation, the Rural Metro, UT Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol and Know County Sheriff’s Office are holding a competition to see which group can get the most blood donations.

A simple way to give back

The 9/11 anniversary tribute is a way for many community members to contribute and feel good about doing it. Giving blood saves lives. 

One UT Police Department member, Sean Patterson, said the event is especially impactful to him. As a native New Yorker, Patterson worked for the NYPD for 22 years. He’s now the assistant chief of police for the UT Police Department and has been for nearly a year and a half. 

Patterson told reporters, “Regardless of how much time passes from September 11, we can never forget the attacks on that day and what took place around the country.” He continued, “It’s a really special thing to see that again. Where everyone is coming together to commemorate a sad milestone but to basically invoke that same spirit. That volunteer spirit, to come together and help once again.”

Events like “Remember the Badges” honors the memory of loved ones lost, making the campaign particularly special. They made the ultimate sacrifice and deserve to be remembered. All the blood donated through the campaign will go directly to the Red Cross. 

First responders are always ready to help

First responders take the job because they want to help. Day after day, they arrive at work, ready to help and they can see there’s good in what they do.  

They provide a sacred form of commitment to their communities. They risk their lives for their communities, and some of them don’t make it out alive. 

To be a first responder, a person must be both adaptable and flexible. Their jobs and the lives of citizens of their communities depend on their quick reaction times. 

First responders are always learning new skills and keeping up with the latest technology in the field. This allows them to stay relevant in their field so they can best protect and serve their communities. The skills they learn can make a difference in saving time, which is often imperative in saving lives. 

A self-sacrificing bunch, first responders miss out on time with their families and work odd hours for the sake of their communities. 

Like military members, first responders form a special camaraderie with their peers thanks to the intensity of their work. 

Related: Former flight attendant honors 9/11 by pushing beverage cart from Boston to NYC

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