The September 11 attacks are an unforgettable part of our history. Many lost their lives on this devastating day, and more than 20 years later, we continue to remember and honor the sacrifices made by uniting through service and volunteerism in our communities.
The heroism of our first responders and spirit of service from that day inspired thousands of young people to serve. Today, September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, led by 9/11 Day and AmeriCorps, continues demonstrating the power of service in our nation.
When America Calls, AmeriCorps Answers
Throughout the years, in times of tragedy and triumph, AmeriCorps always answers the call and recruits more to serve. AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers, and thousands of volunteers raised their hands to help immediately after the 9/11 Day attacks. From assisting in disaster recovery efforts to repairing the damage and helping treat injuries, Americans united in service during our darkest hours. Today, Americans from all walks of life continue to serve on this day to honor the lives lost, participating in food drives, and neighborhood clean-ups, among many other efforts to make a difference for our neighbors in need.
Americans of all ages and backgrounds will continue to remember the fallen this September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. They will rekindle that same spirit of service we saw more than 20 years ago by joining community service projects and serving alongside neighbors and strangers alike to build essential bridges in their communities, like AmeriCorps alumna Julie.
After September 11, 2001, Julie and her NCCC team supported recovery efforts after the attacks. Julie helped a Red Cross call center open to anyone with friends, family, and loved ones in impacted areas in Washington, DC. She talked with individuals to connect people back together. Julie and her team were then flown to New York City, where she served as a case manager at Pier 94 for two months—helping people who had lost loved ones, homes, and jobs.
After graduating from the AmeriCorps NCCC program in November 2001, Julie and a group of friends returned to New York City to volunteer again, this time with Service Center 2 – one of the 10 Red Cross centers – supporting the general recovery effort and managing cases.
Julie is now a volunteer management and disaster program officer with the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. She dedicates her commitment to her 9/11 Day service, stating that it helped her understand the importance of programs and policies to help volunteers get in there, do their job, and get things done.
Service Continues to Strengthen Communities
Since the inception of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers, and Americans have shared what volunteering on 9/11 Day meant for them.
Jayna Powell, director of volunteerism and events at Civic Works Inc., who volunteered annually for 9/11 Day since the attacks said, “Change that date into a day of service instead of a day of tragedy.”
For Jayna, the 9/11 Day service holds a special place in her heart. After learning that a community member had died during the attacks, Jayna felt motivated to do good in memory of her.
.@CivicWorksInc Director of Volunteerism and Events Jayna serves her community on #911Day. She and her church have served every year for the last 20 years on this day. Listen to her powerful message. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cTQIqyapt7— AmeriCorps (@AmeriCorps) September 10, 2022
Across the country there are annual meal pack events where people can participate and feed neighbors in their communities. Last year, AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith served alongside Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, 911Day.org, Serve DC, and volunteers from the Society of Collegiate Black Men at the Capital Area Food Bank for the annual meal pack event.
“When the going gets tough, America gets tougher. And we figure out how to help our neighbors,” said Smith.
That day, more than 400 volunteers joined the service project to help pack nearly 164,000 meals.
“When the going gets tough, America gets tougher. And we figure out how to help our neighbors,” said @AmeriCorpsCEO. Today he served with @911Day + @ServeDC at their annual meal pack event at the @foodbankmetrodc. #911Day pic.twitter.com/iHBUapx2P5— AmeriCorps (@AmeriCorps) September 12, 2022
Find a meal pack near you in one of 18 cities. Visit 911Day.org for more information.
Come Together in Unity and Service for 9/11 Day
By volunteering, you can inspire others to get involved and make a positive difference in their communities. So why not join the thousands of Americans who come together on September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, to serve their neighbors and build bridges across divides? Share how you’ll serve on 9/11 Day on social media, with your family at the dinner table, and with your coworkers in the office.
Together, we can make a difference and keep the spirit of service alive.