9/11 — A Day to Remember, Honor, and Serve

USAF Honor Guard ceremoniously fold American flags at each first responder agency.
Photo by Jin Lee/911 Memorial


It’s been 16 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and hearts are still heavy with sorrow and sadness for the thousands of victims and their families.

But there remains room in every American’s heart to honor the 9/11 heroes who stepped into action in the wake of this horror. We also honor heroes in the U.S. Armed Forces who either have fought or continue to fight against terrorism. Many of these heroes made the ultimate sacrifice.

American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members continue, day after day, to help those who served. Like many other Americans, ALA members honor the heroes, remember the victims, and show gratitude every day of the year … not just on Patriot Day.

But it’s easy to understand how emotional the 9/11 anniversary can be, and to wonder how to positively channel such strong emotions.

Consider this: In 2009, Congress deemed Sept. 11 a “National Day of Service and Remembrance” to spark a tradition of participating in charitable service on Patriot Day as an annual and forward-looking tribute to 9/11 victims, survivors, emergency responders, and those who served in the immediate wake of the terrorist attacks.

Charitable service participation can be anything positive and beneficial — from a food drive for anyone in need, to simply thanking a servicemember, veteran, or emergency responder for what they do for all of us. It could also mean finding a way to help meet the needs of a military family, volunteer, or emergency responder.

If you miss out on the opportunity to serve on Sept. 11, 2017, there’s always an opportunity on Sept. 12, 2017 … and every day after that. A kind, helping hand will be appreciated any day!

Sources for volunteer and service ideas include your local ALA unit or American Legion post. Or, check out other blog entries on this site — which includes some stories of how ALA members around the nation, and beyond, continue to make a difference in their communities through their volunteer efforts.

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