Nine years ago today…

Here at the Holiday Inn parking lot in Woodland Hills, Calif., on this Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 11, 2001, I am surrounded by all sorts of people: fat, thin, black, white, men, women, young, old. Tattoos stand next to buttondowns who stand next to piercings who stand next to T-shirts who stand next to neckties. Cell phones ring incessantly as wingtips line up behind sneakers, behind sandals, behind work boots, behind flip-flops. The gathered are a cross section of our culture. They are America.

These people are here for the same reason as I am: to do something, to help. Yet in their overwhelming desire to be a part of a resolution, they have deluged the American Red Cross mobile blood donation facility that has been set up here and the result is a long, long wait. An hour, two. More perhaps. Through it they mingle, they mill, they talk, they laugh, they fidget, they cry, they stare, they hug, they play. Some leave. Most stay.

Read the rest here.