MANY Marylanders rushed to New York City Sept. 11 and after, to help.
They were firefighters, paramedics, rescue workers, police officers, physicians, nurses and others whose special skills were needed. Volunteers all.
They were helping not only the victims of the atrocity and the overworked first rescue workers, but also their neighbors in Maryland, knitting it into the nationwide fabric of concern that next time may help - God forbid - Marylanders in need.
Mentioned here, as a stand-in for them all, is Tim Kane, a senior at Salisbury University on the Eastern Shore.
The geography major had an internship last summer at the New York Mayor's Office of Emergency Management, in Building 7 of the World Trade Center. He computer-mapped the city's facilities for crews handling any future emergency.
On Sept. 12, Tim Kane volunteered to help his old office. Skipping class and soccer practice, he went to work the next day. The emergency office was displaced from Building 7, which was demolished. Mr. Kane worked out of an emergency HQ set up on a midtown Hudson River pier.
He put his digital mapping skills and knowledge of the street grid to work, planning the night shift of emergency work. He sent people and vehicles to the site, nightly inspecting the catastrophe scene he had known so well in more pleasant times.
Some volunteers found little to do, their presence valuable all the same. Tim Kane averaged something like 14-hour shifts nightly for two weeks, with too much to do.
New York City is better off for the Tim Kanes who answered the call. So are Salisbury and Maryland. The 21-year-old Eastern Shoreman who directed hundreds of relief and rescue workers to go where most needed - because he knew how - makes all Maryland proud.
Bright Lights spotlights people who make a difference in the quality of life in this area. It appears periodically in this column.