The events of September 11, 2001, are embedded in our memories, to such an extent that whenever we see the numbers together—whether it’s a reminder to call 911 in an emergency, or simply seeing 9:11 pop up on our phones or microwaves—we may momentarily revisit the events of that day.
There are other numbers associated with that date that don’t immediately leap into our subconscious. For example, 343 firefighters and paramedics lost their lives because of the events of 9/11. Also, an estimated 3,051 children lost a parent.
It’s not unusual for us to want to transform this anniversary from a day of tragedy into something positive. Today, over 30 million Americans observe 9/11, or Patriot Day, by engaging in various forms of charitable service. It’s an excellent opportunity to remember the casualties in those attacks by doing good deeds, volunteering or donating to charities—in essence, becoming a hero yourself.
If you aren’t already involved with a charitable organization, a good place to start is Charity Navigator. This website provides ratings for most charities to help you avoid scams and fraudulent practices.
You may choose to remember September 11 by learning more about the events that unfolded. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, located at the World Trade Center in New York, has many resources.
We are held together by our history and our shared experiences. When you are honoring the memory of those who died, don’t forget about the courage, sacrifices, and challenges so many faced that day, and in the days since, and honor them appropriately.