Many of us are seeking ways to observe Patriot Day and memorialize 9/11. This Patriot Day is the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Virginia, and the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. It’s difficult to comprehend that there are young adults alive today who do not recall the horror of that tragic day.
For those of us who remember everything about that day, when we heard the news of what had happened, we may be looking for ways to observe Patriot Day and memorialize those who perished on 9/11/01.
Patriot Day, officially known as National Day of Service and Remembrance, is also a day of serving others. We have compiled a list that will hopefully enable us all to feel we are not only observing the day to honor the victims but also helping others along the way, through service.
Ways to Observe Patriot Day- September 11th
1. The National Park Service is launching a day of service through volunteerism. Visit their site to learn about ways you can volunteer at any National Park near you. NPS encouragee you to spread the word about why you are volunteering, using #NPSVolunteer
2. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum has an initiative called, “Remember the Sky“. Take a picture of the sky where you are – regardless of the weather – and post it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @911memorial and use #NeverForget911 and #rememberthesky This is meant to show how we are all connected and is a warmhearted way to observe Patriot Day and memorialize 9/11.
3. You can honor the 343 first responders who gave their lives to help others on 9/11 by climbing 110 stories – the equivalent of the highest point of the World Trade Center. Across the US, this Patriot Day, there are city events, gyms, and fitness groups, all holding stair climbs.
According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which sponsors the stair climbs, the event not only honors the memories of first responders who died that day but also symbolizes the completion of their heroic journeys to save others.
4. Run or walk a 5K in honor of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was started by Stephen’s brother, Frank Siller. On 9/11/01,
Stephen Siller had just finished his shift. He got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. It had already been closed for security purposes. He strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers. Stephen gave up his life while saving others.
5. Show your thanks to first responders in your area. Bring a meal to your local fire department, police station, EMS, or any first responder station. Thank them for their service. This gesture is a great way to observe Patriot Day and memorialize 9/11. This is a great way to get to know the first responders in your community.
6. Donate. Charities are still helping the survivors and victims’ families from the 9/11 tragedy. The death toll is still climbing. People were exposed to a toxic cloud of contaminants in lower Manhattan after the Twin Towers fell. If you are called to donate and want to help these individuals, we recommend:
- FealGood Foundation
- Tunnel to Towers Foundation
- FDNY Foundation
- New York City Police Foundation
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
7. Our Day of Service post also has ideas of how you can be of service in your own community. Serving others is a great way to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11/01.
If you are in New York, or the next time you are, please visit the 9/11 Memorial. Your entry fee contributes to maintaining the memorial located at the World Trade Center. It is dedicated to the 2,977 people who died on 9/11. It’s also dedicated to the six who were killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
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