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Continuing to Give Back: In Memory of 9/11, University Health Professor Emeritus and Red Cross Volunteer Larry Klobutcher


Sep 13, 2023

Twenty-two years later, September 11, 2001 remains a sacred day in the hearts of Americans. It is a day that is marked by tragedy and sorrow, as a plane crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, leaving behind a lasting memory of anguish and despair. For many people, the news of this tragic event is forever etched in their minds, and they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. Dr. Larry Klobutcher, a professor emeritus of molecular biology and biophysics at UConn Health and an American Red Cross volunteer, was just about to begin his class when his students informed him about the plane crash at the World Trade Center. Initially, he thought it was a tragic accident, but as the class progressed, the situation escalated. The second tower was attacked, the Pentagon was attacked, and the first tower collapsed. It felt like the world had changed in just one hour. The impact of these events on the people inside the buildings, their families, and the first responders was unimaginable, as was the response of our nation.

To honor the 22nd anniversary of this incident, the Connecticut Red Cross organized a special fire alarm installation event in Hartford. The goal of this event was to commemorate the importance of this day in our nation’s history and to make homes safer for residents. Dr. Larry Klobutcher, along with other Red Cross volunteers, participated in the installation event. They understand the significance of having a well-protected home, especially when it comes to fire safety. The Red Cross encourages everyone to take steps to make their homes safer in September. Regularly test smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning properly, and if they are more than 10 years old, replace them. If you or someone you know is in need of a smoke alarm, you can schedule a free installation with a Red Cross team through the Connecticut Home Fire Campaign or call 1-877-287-3327.

Dr. Larry Klobutcher’s involvement with the Red Cross reflects his dedication to helping the community. After leaving UConn Health, he had more time on his hands and wanted to give back through volunteer work. His childhood memories of the Red Cross saving his family from flooding in Illinois inspired him to join their mission. The Hartford event holds significant importance due to the high number of fires the city has experienced over the past year, some of which resulted in injuries and fatalities. Dr. Klobutcher, along with the disaster response team, knows the devastation that a fire can cause, even if no one is hurt. The preference is always to install smoke alarms, which greatly reduce the risk of fire damage, rather than having to respond to an actual fire. These events raise awareness about safety and highlight the importance of preparedness.

The Red Cross in Hartford is no stranger to these types of preparedness events. Throughout the year, they install free smoke alarms and provide fire education. Large-scale installation events like the one held in Hartford are crucial as they target areas with high fire frequency and loss of life. They bring more volunteers together and build enthusiasm for the program. Moreover, this event is particularly significant as it coincides with the anniversary of 9/11, paying tribute to the people who lost their lives and honoring the workers who risked everything to respond to the disaster. Dr. Larry Klobutcher’s efforts with the North Central Connecticut Home Fire Campaign team have made a substantial impact. He has helped hundreds of families sleep safer at night, and his contributions are greatly appreciated by his fellow volunteers.

By Editor

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