Editor’s Scratchpad

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Blood doesn’t discriminate

When the reality of Tuesday's terrorist attack began to sink in, many looked for ways to help. I joined hundreds of donors in line at the Blood Bank of Hawaii. (2043 Dillingham Blvd., phone 845-9966)

Blood Bank workers thanked the throngs apologetically for their patience and generosity and begged those who could not wait to come back the next day. Most chose to stay to do their part.

I was told it would be two hours before I could give blood. I agreed and took a seat with my fellow patriots.

Sitting around me were people from all walks of life: business executives, military officers and enlisted people, construction workers, office workers, moms pushing strollers. A young couple was there from New York, as evidenced by their I.D. cards.

As we watched waiting room TVs, witnessing the atrocities in New York and Washington, D.C., again and again, "Islamic terrorists" were suggested as possible culprits.

After nearly five hours, I was led to the donation chair.

The man after me heard his name called and with a serious, determined face took his place on the chair across from me.

"Mohammed?" the nurse queried.

"Here!" he said.

--Blaine Fergerstrom

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