September 11, a Day to Commemorate, Honor and Serve


Today we commemorate the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a day that changed the course of history forever. Also called Patriot Day and 9/11 Day, September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance calls upon all Americans to not only reflect on the innocent victims and courageous heroes that were lost on that day, but to turn a day of tragedy into a day of hope by doing acts of kindness and service. The official commemoration held at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in NY which includes the reading of all the names of the perished can be viewed here today from 8:25am - noon EST.

The cowardly acts of that day were meant to weaken and divide us, but by performing acts of service we build upon and remind the world of the strength and unity that was born of that tragedy. David Paine, co-founder of 911Day.org., explained it best when he said, "We didn't want the terrorists to forever define how 9/11 would be remembered. We wanted to focus instead on how our nation came together, the spirit of unity and compassion shared by so many."

Thanks to the efforts of organizations like 911Day.org, 9/11 Day has grown to be the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement. You can find a searchable database of volunteer opportunities in your area at nationalservice.gov.. If you are unable to volunteer in person, you can still make a great contribution to the cause when you raise needed items for your favorite local charity on YouGiveGoods . And remember, while it is ideal that you volunteer on 9/11, an act of volunteerism any day of the year contributes to the overall movement of compassion and unity.

On this day we vow to “Never Forget”. There is a whole generation of kids who were born after 9/11/01 or are too young to remember the tragic day so it is essential that the details and history of events are taught in schools and in our homes. You can find lesson plans and information appropriate for all ages on 911memorial.org. Although the details are terrifying and heartbreaking, it’s important that we not shy away from teaching our children about 9/11 and encouraging them to take part in the day of service.

As we reflect and honor the innocents lost, the brave first responders who were lost and those that continue to suffer today, and the lives shattered by the loss of loved ones, we are united in our grief and strengthened in our resolve to do good in their memory.

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