Every Sept. 11, events around the country commemorate the shocking and terrible events of that day in 2001. But it’s also a good time to pause and remember the veterans who were called into service after that fateful day, as well as those of the nation’s other foreign wars.
In New York City, you can visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which houses thousands of artifacts and photographs from 9/11, as well as more than 1,900 oral histories. In the Washington, D.C., area, remembrances will be held at the Pentagon Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and other locations.
People everywhere in America can commemorate 9/11 closer to home, however. Since the first anniversary of the attacks, Sept. 11 has been designated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance — a day to dedicate time and energy to charitable service as a tribute to 9/11 victims, survivors and servicepersons.
People throughout the country stage food drives, help spruce up public spaces and honor veterans on Sept. 11, and you can, too. Use this search tool to find opportunities to serve, and share your volunteer experiences on the social media, tagged #911Day, to spread the word and get more people involved.
You can also honor veterans any day of the year by clearing out the stuff you no longer need and donating it to ClothingDonations.org. Donations are distributed to secondhand and thrift stores, and the proceeds go toward veterans’ programs nationwide.
No matter when they served, combat leaves an indelible mark on veterans; more than a third will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following their service. For Vietnam vets, that stress was compounded by a lack of respect for an unpopular war; for younger veterans, by unpredictable and unconventional attacks.
This week, honor the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by donating a few hours in service to your country. First responders and those who serve in the nation’s military forces gave life and limb in the aftermath to protect the American way of life, and the survivors will appreciate your support.