Unfortunately, this Sunday will mark 15 years since the horrific tragedy of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Thousands of Americans lost their lives, leaving behind a grieving nation.
If you lived in NYC anywhere below 14th street, chances are you saw the tragic events unfold with your own two eyes. Yet, despite the fact that the NYC skyline has changed, you may feel more connected to downtown Manhattan more now, then ever before.
Fact is, 9/11 did in so many ways forced NYC and the entire country to come together. Yes, the horrible events on 9/11/01 certainly changed the way we all view the world. Now, as America faces a critical change of political power in this upcoming Presidential election, you may feel more compelled now more than ever to be a part of your local community and are looking for ways to volunteer or give back this weekend or month.
In cities all over the United States, people still come together on September 11th to commemorate and honor the victims of 9/11.
Below are ten different ways you can join your fellow Americans to honor, remember, and give back to the victims, their families, and America..."United we fall."
1. VISIT the National September 11 Memorial & Museum – On September 11, 2011, in New York City, the National Memorial for the 9/11 attacks was officially revealed to the public. The site instantly reminds people to "never forget." The 9/11 Memorial displays the names of the victims, including the passengers and crew of the two airliners that were used by terrorists to strike and subsequently bring down both the north and south WTC towers. Victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks including: first responders, employees and visitors were from all over the world and are forever memorialized at the site that was referred to as, "ground zero."
In May 2014, the 9/11 Museum was officially opened to the public. Both destinations are a harsh and emotional reminder to us all. Those who want to remember their loved ones or just self reflect are able to gather and experience the museum’s historical yet, "gut-wrenching" exhibition of those unimaginable and tragic events.
You can show your support by joining the thousands that visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 11th each year to honor the victims.
2. DONATE to Charity – It’s 15 years later and people are still feeling the affects of 9/11, including the victims’ families, survivors, injured heroes and survivors. Making a donation to one or more of the below charities will support the many victims still alive and left behind who were seriously effected by the attacks.
Wounded Warrior Project: Provides the servicemen and women injured during the attacks with lifetime support. Their mission is “to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women; to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.”
Tuesday’s Children: Provides long-term support to the families of the victims of 9/11, as well as victims of other terrorist attacks globally.
The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation: Founded by the family and friends of FDNY firefighter, Michael Lynch, after he was killed responding to the 9/11 attacks. It is a scholarship fund that provides educational grants to the children of 9/11 firefighters and other victims.
3. SIGN-UP for the National Day of Service – Don't have the funds to donate this year? You can still give back. Join your fellow Americans every September 11th to volunteer at a local event near you. Your contribution goes a long way in honoring 9/11 victims and continuing service for other ongoing American hardships due to the attacks. You can sign up on serve.gov and take part in various outreach, fundraising, and service projects.
4. GET PHYSICAL for a good cause - The 9/11 Stair Climb – In various locations throughout the country, people partake in “stair climbs” to pay tribute to the FDNY firefighters that responded on 9/11. Climbers walk the equivalent of 110 stories of the World Trade Center, just like so many of the heroic first responders did. To support their brave sacrifice, find out where your nearest climb is here.
5. GIVE BLOOD – Blood donations to the American Red Cross soared after the events of 9/11. Naturally, people wanted to do everything in their power to help out. Many years later, donating blood is still just as significant of a gesture. The American Red Cross has partnered with 9/11 Day to encourage people to give blood in honor of 9/11’s emotional 15th anniversary.
6. GET PATRIOTIC! – Yes, we know July 4th has come and gone. But, there are no rules, you can display and fly the American flag anytime you want. This Sunday, in honor of September 11th, hang your American flag and display your pride, honoring the best country in the world! The American flag is the ultimate symbol of solidarity and patriotism and reminds us to never forget any of the lives who were taken on this terrible day in our nations history.
7. VISIT St. Paul’s Chapel – Otherwise known as the “Little Chapel That Stood,” St. Paul’s was instrumental in helping recovery workers during the 9/11 attack. For months after the 9/11 attacks, volunteers from the church, served meals, made up beds, helped show support and counsel the 9/11 workers. St. Paul’s is also the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan. It is worth a trip for both the historical significance and the role it played in such a horrible tragedy.
10. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – This museum hosts a photo memorial honoring New Yorkers who suffered fatal wounds from their time fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. While not directly about 9/11, it serves as a strong reminder of the brave Americans that lay down their lives for our country every day.
Ya Know You Wanna!