Friday, September 3, 2010

Remembering 9/11 by Giving Back

by Christina Malliet

It’s hard to believe that, next Saturday, nine years will have passed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Those of us who are old enough will never forget the images of that day – the immense cloud of smoke as the towers fell, the crowds of confused people covered in ash, firefighters searching for survivors in the rubble – or the feelings that ensued – anger, patriotism, a need to come together as a country.

Two years ago, President Bush declared “volunteering” an appropriate form of remembrance for that day. Thus, in an effort to replace the bad images and to perpetuate the sentiment of unity that developed from the event, four agencies (MyGoodDeed, HandsOn Network, The Corporation for National and Community Service and 9/11 Memorial) have come together to develop The 9/11 National Day of Service. This event, now in its second year, brings together millions of Americans by encouraging them to volunteer for, or otherwise support, charitable causes nationwide.

The event’s website,, features a database of causes to support. It also has lesson plans for service-learning and suggestions for teaching youth to remember the day itself.

This project is an important means of perpetuating the power of unity that came out of the attacks, as well as a means of promoting understanding. By raising awareness of September 11 in a positive light, the initiative helps prevent hatred, anger and racism that the memories might otherwise evoke, encouraging greater global understanding.

We hope that, this year, you’ll remember the lives lost by joining a project in your community. What are you planning this September 11? Tell us your story in a comment below!

Photo credit here.

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