National Day of Service and Remembrance, 2016
We didn’t k now it would g row to be this large. We had hopes, of course, but how could we know ? The September September 11National Day of Service Service and Remembrance(“9/11 Day”), which my co-founder David Paine and I began in 2002 as a grassroots effort, has grown to become the largest annual annual day of charitable engagement engagement in the nation. Last year, independent independent research revealed that more than 28 million people participated by engaging in some form of charitable activity activity or good deeds. They marked this solemn day in a way that increasingly increasingly helps America transform the anniversary into something far different than what was intended by the terrorists. terrorists. And that is good. It’s clear that the idea of paying paying tribute to those lost and t hose who served in the aftermath aftermath by engaging in service o urselves does resonate with people from coast to coast. Even w ith the distance of time and the lessening of the rawness of 9 /11, people everywhere continue continue to mark the day meaning- f ully. This notion of performing good deeds for the benefit of y our fellow citizens or community community just makes sense, and is reflective reflective of how people everywhere everywhere acted for some time after t he attacks. The upcoming anniversary o f 9/11presents us with an opportunity opportunity to reflect on what happened 15 years ago and, as important, the choices we can Agood sign is that, as of this w riting, three of the four lead- i ng candidates for president ( Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson a nd, according to media reports, reports, Donald Trump) have agreed to our formal request to cease with traditional campaigning campaigning on 9/11and to focus instead instead on positive messaging and encouraging community service. service. So for at least one day, hopefully, the chatter from those quarters will be about remembrance remembrance and coming together. together. About a quarter of the U.S. population is under age 21. They have little or no memories of 9/ 11. For them, and for future generations, generations, parents and teachers have a responsibility to pass on the lessons of 9/11, about the impact impact people can make as individuals, individuals, and to continue the legacy legacy of community service and unity so meaningful in response to the attacks. Education is a pillar pillar of our programming, with free lesson plans for students and teachersand volunteer o pportunitiesfor everyone accessible accessible on our website year- r ound. Ihave always believed that a s Americans our diversity and many differences are to be c herished. We all have something something of value to bring to the tab tab le, and we can all learn a great deal from each other when we r espect those differences. This is not groundbreaking philosophy philosophy and I suspect is a belief shared by most reasonable peo- p le. But it’s astounding to me how such a simple truism winds u p on the back burner or is forgotten. forgotten. Those who instead choose to use our legitimate differences differences to form wedges bet 9/11National Day of Service thrives JAY WINUK FRANK BECERRA JR./THE JOURNAL NEWS Employees at Armonk-based MBIA installed 2,977 flags on the company's lawn as part of their 2011participation in t he 9/11National Day of Service.