How You Can Participate in Observing the National Day of Service and Remembrance

How You Can Participate in Observing the National Day of Service and Remembrance

Many of us remember exactly what we were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001, when we saw the horrible tragedy and loss of life unfolding before our eyes on live TV.

Some of us were actually eyewitnesses to the attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

Those images and pain will remain with us for the rest of our lives. America has changed so much since then. In some cases for the worse. The political and ideological lines of division are shocking.


“Firefighters are a special breed. Their noble calling is to save lives even to the cost of giving their own. By just showing up to work every day is in itself an act of bravery. It doesn’t pay well, there are few vacations and they must drop all on a moment’s notice because their duty is to serve others and keep them from harm. What makes a firefighter run into a burning building when all others are running out? The answer is in one word...courage! Let us remember the firefighters in our community who unselfishly serve us and keep us safe 24/7.”

- JM

The image of America’s ideals and exceptionalism are slipping further into the rearview mirror much the same way as this generation forgets the inspiration that President Ronald Reagan had when he spoke of America as the “Shining City on a Hill”.

However, in the soul of every American, there is still some good. September 11 has become the National Day of Service and Remembrance. It is a time to reflect upon all that is good in America and what we can do for our fellow man; that is part of the essence of what it means to be American.


Here are some ways to Serve and Remember:

1. Use Your Time and Talents to Serve

September 11 is a day that provides plenty of opportunities for you to give back to your community and do good for those who are less fortunate or need some extra help. Americans around the country will rally together to host food drives, plant trees in neighborhoods and parks, clean up the local streets, paint schools and many other projects to give back.

You don’t have to choose a volunteer project that is directly related to 9/11; this day is about remembering the past and honoring those who gave everything by merely uniting with others to do good. Find a volunteer opportunity near you on their website, at


"The Law of the Jungle or the Rule of Law? This is the world we are faced with every day in our towns, our communities, and our cities.

We are safe because of the men and women who patrol our streets with a deep sense of duty and service. A free people are protected by our Brave Heroes in Blue knowing that each night could be their last. They are dads, moms, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters. They know the dangers. Every day and night they bravely put their lives on the Thin Blue Line standing between anarchy and peace so that our families may sleep safely tonight. We truly are free Because of the Brave!"

- JM

2. Plan a Trip to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Ten years after the 9/11 tragedy, this incredible museum opened to the public and pays tribute to the event through many exhibits that honor the lives lost. The museum includes artifacts, archives, and multimedia displays, to view or you can sit and reflect by the twin reflection pools nearby. If you live in the area, the museum has volunteer opportunities you can participate in.

3. Make A Donation In Memory/Honor

The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund continues to provide scholarships to victims’ dependents, while the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund assists the communities most affected by the disaster. Join thousands who honor the NYPD and FDNY first responders by donating to the New York City Police Foundation or the FDNY Foundation, or to your local fire departments or police stations. Those who have a love for animals can donate to a shelter, or rescue operation, or assistance dog program like K9s for Warriors, in remembrance of the many therapies and search-and-rescue dogs whose efforts were monumental in assisting individuals during this difficult event.

4. Thank a Hero / Share a Story

We encourage our nearly 25K social media Followers to jump into the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please take a moment to Comment on our post, share a photo, or Message us privately either with your words of gratitude for a first responder or with a story that means a lot to you about that fateful day. Allow us to come together as a community to support and honor those among us who were personally affected. Thank you in advance for joining in using #ThankAHero or #My911Story.


1. It’s a reminder of maintaining hope, serving others, and the power of goodness

Like Mr. Roger’s mom said to him as a child—when there’s a disaster, look for the helpers. Though 9/11 was an incredible tragedy in our nation, it revealed the goodness of humanity that remains. From a selfless subway conductor in Manhattan who shuttled people away from the scene, to the many residents of Newfoundland who took in the passengers of planes that were diverted that day, we learned so much about the kindness and care of people. Thousands showed incredible bravery, compassion, and generosity during the intensity of the response and the many difficult days following.

2. It is our duty and privilege to honor the fallen and those who were left behind.

Along with remembering the bravery of the first responders and volunteers, it is our honor to keep alive the memories of those who were lost. The lives that didn’t make it.

We choose to celebrate their lives and ensure that they’re never forgotten. This is one of the most powerful ways that we can honor them—there is immense power when America collectively remembers these people.

3. We are responsible for educating the next generation

We have seen the importance of remembering and honoring the people that we lost in of 9/11; It’s equally important to pass these lessons on to the next generation and our children.

Though the subject is weighty and sad, the next generation must take on the responsibility to ensure that September 11 isn’t forgotten. Teachers and parents can download school lesson plans and educational guides, watch documentaries together, with their kids and — perhaps most important of all — quietly sit down and have a conversation.

And remember, it’s ok if you do not have all the answers.


"Abraham Lincoln once said ‘Next to creating a life, the finest thing a man can do is save one.’ There is no higher honor than to be given the responsibility to care for another human being. Our Emergency Medical and Rescue first responders are typically the ones who show up on the scene when people’s lives hang in the balance. They serve our communities with one objective, they save lives. We honor and appreciate them for their dedication and service."

- JM

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1 comment

I sincerely appreciate the remarks and the call to action. As a law enforcement officer for over 30 years, I am here to tell you, the few kind words we get from people, far outweigh the numerous snide remarks, insults, resisters, and, simply put, “Not Nice People”. As many of you do, we remember exactly where, and what we were doing on 9-11. It is an honor to serve.

Frederick Ilnicki

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