Tomorrow is 9/11 Day. 9/11 Day is hosted by the 9/11 Day Movement. They are an international non-profit organization that encourages communities to observe September 11 every year through charitable service and good deeds. They created this observance soon after 9/11 to provide a positive way to forever remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks, and remind people of the importance of working more closely together in peace to improve our world. Today millions participate annually by taking time out on 9/11 to help others in need, in their own way.
Here are a few ways to get involved:
1. On Tuesday, September 11, let your local police and fire departments know that you are thankful for their dedicated service to our communities. You can write a note of thanks on their Facebook walls or send them a Tweet.
2. Send a thank you card or email to the service people you personally know in your life.
3. Spend some time looking into charities and organizations doing great things - charities you've heard about but haven't made time to really research. Connect with these organizations through Facebook or Twitter. Look for opportunities to volunteer and become informed.
Some of my favorites -
Mercy Project - freeing child slaves in Ghana.
Half the Sky - turning oppression into opportunity for women.
Apparent Project - keeping families together in Haiti by teaching a skill. Their jewelry is beautiful. I love every piece I own.
International Justice Mission - securing rescue for victims of slavery & other violent forms of oppression.
The Fistula Foundation - raising awareness and funding for fistula treatment, prevention, and educational programs worldwide
Trade as One - using fair trade to promote sustainable business and break cycles of poverty and dependency in the developing world.
The Batik Boutique - transforming the lives of women in Malaysia through job training.
4. Keep up with tomorrow's events at the 9/11 Day Facebook page.
5. Share your story. Let’s remember together. What do you remember about 9/11? Where were you? Did that day change you in some way? I'll share my story - right after John Krasinski. (I miss The Office).
The phone would not stop ringing.
Eventually I answered with an annoyed, “Mom! What?”
It took me several minutes to understand exactly what my mom was saying. “We're under attack. Turn on the TV. Where is Aaron? Is he home?” While I was desperately trying to turn off the workout video and find a news station (I SUCK at all things electronic, so you have no idea how long this little switch-a-roo took me) my mom hysterically attempted to catch me up. I was glad she called. Since ejecting my first human being from my body, I hadn't watched much grown up television. Unless Blues Clues decided to scroll the news at the bottom of the screen, I could have gone all day without knowing what had happened in New York. I got off the phone with my mom and stood staring at the television for the longest time. At that point other reports of planes – in more cities – began to circulate. Aaron was near downtown Houston at seminary. I called him. Frantic. He had heard the news. His campus was in the process of determining whether or not to cancel class for the remainder of the day. I begged him to come home. I was surprised how scared I was that something awful would happen in downtown Houston.
I spent the rest of the day glued to the television. It was one of the first times I remember my heart breaking – tears streaming down my face – for people I did not know. I was a hormonal mess, but this was more than hormones. This was a connection to the human race that I don't think I had ever been old enough to experience during a national tragedy. Other than a human bond, I had no real connection to the horrified faces on my television screen. I didn’t know the people who jumped out of the towers that day. I had never met the parents grieving for their missing children, yet it did not matter if I knew them. I was overcome with emotion for the survivors and the victims.
It's your turn. Where were you? How were you changed?
P.S. On a steady diet of salad and diligently exercising, I still managed to gain 50 pounds with the second baby. Wrong. Wrong on so many levels.
9/11 in photos from The Boston Globe
9/11 in photos from The Boston Globe