BROOKLYN, MI (Toledo News Now) - People flocked to the Michigan International Speedway on September 11 – not for a race but to do their part in helping others by giving blood.
"It's a sad day, but you try to do things like this to help out," said Nicole Holcomb of Brooklyn, MI.
Around 700 donors visited the speedway during the 12-hour Spirit of America blood drive. Greeting them were nearly 3,000 American flags – representing the lives lost on 9/11.
"One of the features of this is it quantifies the number of almost-3,000," said MIS Director of Guest Services Tim Booth. "When you sit here and see the quantity of flags and have a visual exactly how many lives were lost that day."
"I think it's important to keep that memory alive, keep the spirit alive itself," said Heidi Seitz, manager of Donor Relations for Michigan Blood. "But to be able to give back in such a way that really is from your heart."
Marke Barbour of North Adams, MI has been donating blood at this event for a long time. He says he's just happy to be able to do his part.
"It's important enough. Everybody should make the effort if they could," said Barbour, "because you don't want to be the one that has a family member in need of something, you could've helped them and didn't."
Michigan Blood has collected more than 9,300 pints of blood since it began this drive at MIS in 2002.
The flags are set up every year for people to see during the week of September 11.