Siouxlanders give the gift of life-saving blood in honor of the - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxlanders give the gift of life-saving blood in honor of the United Flight 232 anniversary

File photo from July 1989 File photo from July 1989

After the tragic crash 25 years ago, the surrounding communities came together to help in any way they could.

When all of the physical labor was taken care of, people lined up around the block to donate blood to help in light of the devastation.

Saturday, LifeServe Blood Center wanted to use the opportunity to commemorate the crash, and generate awareness for a continued need for blood.

It's been said, again and again: When tragedy strikes, the people of the Midwest are there for their neighbors. The same was true on July 19, 1989, when a plane crash brought hundreds to area hospitals. Siouxlanders helped any way that they could.

"After the event, we had over 1,000 Siouxland community members turn out to donate blood. There was a line around the block," Beth Phillips, LifeServe Blood Center said.

"We had people from so many communities come help us, physicians, nurses. We had hundreds and hundreds of health care providers, so we were easily able to take care of those many victims, and patients, and family members," Eileen Hansen, Sioux City, Iowa.

On the 25th anniversary of the crash, LifeServe Blood Center remembers the victims of the crash and the help that the community donated to save the lives that they could. Thousands donated blood in the weeks following the crash. Saturday, the Blood Center was pushing for 232 donations.

"We decided to do a Remembering Flight 232 blood drive in order to celebrate those who donated so many years ago, their act of volunteerism, and to honor those lives lost," Phillips said.

Eileen was working at Mercy Hospital as a nurse when the plane crash happened. She said her blood donation today brings back memories, both of the adversity they faced, as well as the blessings they received.

"It gets me at the heart, because I was there to help the people, but it made me very proud to work at Mercy, and that's why I'm still there.

First responders, dispatchers, and donors alike say that the 232 blood drive is not just about remembering the tragedy of 25 years ago, but about remembering that help is still needed today.

"The event itself shows the importance of blood donation, but it's also important to remember there are hospital patients in need, all year round," Phillips said.

Something she says she hopes Siouxlanders remember tragedy, or not.

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