Remembering September 11 with Acts of Service

Remembering September 11 with Acts of ServiceI remember September 11, 2001 so well, even though it happened 19 years ago. I was folding laundry on my bed when my then-husband called me. 

His voice was frantic. “Where is my brother working?”

I was totally confused. “What? Why? He’s somewhere in the city.”

“WHERE IN THE CITY? A PLANE JUST HIT THE TWIN TOWERS!! TURN ON THE TV. TURN. ON. THE. TV!”

September 11 :: The Day the World Changed

The world changed that day, as you know. Its effects are still seen today in the security at airports, the lingering health issues of first responders, and even in the continuing war in Afghanistan. It is so easy to focus on all the bad things that happened 19 years ago and are still happening today because of it.  

I choose, though, to focus on the good that came from September 11, 2001. Although it was a national tragedy like none other at the time, it was also a time when people came together for the first time in perhaps 50+ years. 

People reached out to one another. Took care of one another. And rallied around one another. And a movement was created for 9/11 to not only become a day of remembering the 3,000 lives lost, but also a day to honor those lives with acts of service.

A National Day of Service and Remembrance

Remembering September 11 with Acts of ServiceIn 2009, September 11 was formally recognized by federal law to become a National Day of Service and Remembrance. You may also know it as Patriot Day. And, according to 911day.org, “…9/11 Day has grown to become the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement.”

911day.org has a full list of good deeds. This year, they’ve focused those good deeds to things we can do at home {thanks, COVID}. From feeding a first responder to pleading to be kind, to saving local restaurants, the 911day.org website has something for every interest that you can do to support this day.

It even has lesson plans for distance learners, including learning how to honor first responders and other local heroes.

Another great resource is the Americorp’s National Community & Service Website, one of 911day’s partners. Here, you can find a volunteer opportunity, register your own service project, or discover project ideas and resources where you can still safely help your community.

Secretary of State John Kerry stated, “Remember the hours after September 11 when we came together as one! It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.”

I think that, especially in 2020, we should all do our best to bring out our best on this day, too.


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Carol grew up and stayed in Ohio for the first 25 years of her life - and then moved 6 times around the country and to Brazil between 1996-2000. She settled in Indiana with her kids, Jonathan {1993} and Ellie {1995}, and her then-husband for 9 years before finally making her way to the great state of Texas in 2009. Within a year of moving, she was saying “y’all” and “bless your heart” like the true Texan she was meant to be. Carol held a variety of part-time jobs while her children were in elementary and middle school. These jobs, from a kindergarten teacher’s aide to a substitute teacher to a Gymboree Play instructor, always centered around working with children. She did the whole volunteer thing throughout her kids’ elementary school days from class parent to Girl Scout troop leader and council volunteer. After earning her 1st degree blackbelt, became a nationally-certified instructor in taekwondo, and volunteer taught taekwondo at her instructor’s school in Fishers, Indiana. After moving to Katy, she opened her own taekwondo school in 2010 so that she and her daughter could continue to do what they loved and continue to be a part of their national association of schools. Carol found her true calling of teaching her students strength, focus, and confidence at her taekwondo school. Carol’s children are both grown and on their own now. {Mostly. They do pay their own bills, but they still come to her for advice}. Her daughter, Ellie, married her high school sweetheart in 2019. She met her now-husband, Scott, through Match.com {yeah, those things CAN work!}. They live in Richmond with their dog and 2 cats and enjoy spending their down time going to the movies and supporting all the local restaurants they can.

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