Today in History: 9-11 A Nation's Response to Tragedy
by M.C. Millman
In the aftermath of the trauma and tragedy that resulted from the 9/11 terror attacks, the day has since become federally recognized as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The pivot of 9/11 began in 2002 as an effort to transform the tragic anniversary into a day to remember the good that resulted from the evil - that of the unity and shared humanity seen in the aftermath of the devastating day.
"We wanted to make sure the terrorists didn't have the last word in forever defining for generations to how America would remember and observe 9/11," said 9/11 Day and MyGoodDeed co-founder David Paine. "We wanted instead to honor the victims and those who rose in service by keeping alive the spirit of unity and service that arose in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks."
Surveys conducted by MyGoodDeed, the nonprofit that originally instituted the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, reflect that approximately 35 million Americans participate in the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance by doing some form of charitable service. This makes 9/11 Day the largest annual day of charitable service in the United States.
In New York City, nearly 5,0000 volunteers at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will get together to create good out of the evil perpetrated on this day and work to recapture those moments when the country united in tragedy stepped up to help one another as volunteers will pack boxes of food for pantries citywide. The volunteers will pack 1.5 million health and nonperishable meals for City Harvest and Food Bank for New York City.
Schools and students nationwide also participate in service-related activities on this day as part of lessons about the history of 9/11 Day.
While this day in history has a message to never forget, as posted by Senator Bill Weber this morning on X, "Today, on September 11, we reflect on a day that changed our nation. We honor the lives lost, the heroes who emerged, and the strength of unity. Today and always, we remember."
The outcome of a nation that responds to evil with good is certainly worth reflection.