September 11, 2001, was a tragic day in American history. On that day, nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost due to the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. as well as in rural Pennsylvania, where another plane en route for more destruction crash-landed.
The indelible images of the World Trade Center collapsing in flames with crowds running for safety, as well as the ensuing visions of heroes and citizens working together, have created a lasting impression.
While buildings have been repaired and new sites erected in the wake of the attacks, there are many ways to continue to honor the fallen. Patriot Day, which takes place each year on September 11 to honor those who lost their lives in the 9-11 attacks, is one such example. The following are a handful of ways that people can honor 9-11 victims and their families.
- Celebrate local heroes by visiting or making donations of food or supplies to local firehouses and police stations.
- Commemorate the events of 9-11 by observing moments of silence at key times throughout the day: 8:46 a.m, 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 9:59 a.m., 10:03 a.m., and 10:28 a.m.
- Engage in service projects that can help your community, including its underserved individuals, like veterans. National Day of Service, which is the same day as Patriot Day, asks people to do at least one good deed in honor of those who died on 9-11.
- Make a trip to New York City and visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
- If you display a flag at your home or business, be sure to place it at half staff from sunrise to sunset to mourn the lives lost.
- Share stories of the heroism and bravery of first responders with young children who may not have been alive in 2001.
- Unite the country by promoting acceptance of and kindness to all people, regardless of religious or political beliefs.
- Attend a special service commemorating 9-11 at houses of worship.
- Visit memorials honoring the fallen in various communities in and around your home.