About 9/11 Day

Two decades ago on September 11, 2001, many lost their lives to the 9/11 attacks. To honor the spirit of sacrifice made that day and the sacrifices that continue to be made by members of the armed forces and their families, we honor those heroes by uniting in service and volunteerism throughout our communities.  

Beginning in 2002, family members who lost loved ones lead the effort for an appropriate and fitting tribute to honor their loved ones and those who volunteered to serve our country in response to the tragedy. The leadership and efforts of these family members resulted in the legislative establishment of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance in April of 2009. AmeriCorps was charged with supporting this effort across the county. 

Each year, AmeriCorps works with 9/11Day.org, our grantees, and faith-based, local, and national organizations to expand volunteering that honors the sacrifice of the families affected by September 11, 2001. 

This year, Americans across the nation will mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, united in service to their communities to honor the victims and heroes of that day.  

Key messages

Honor. Serve. Unite.

This September 11, Americans across the nation will mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks. To commemorate this occasion, we ask you to honor the victims and heroes of that day through acts of service that will recapture the spirit of unity that swept the nation in the wake of tragedy 9/11.  

  • Two decades ago on September 11th, 2001, many lost their lives. We honor their spirit of sacrifice by uniting in service and volunteerism throughout our communities. We honor the sacrifices made that day and the sacrifices that continue to be made by members of our armed forces and their families.    

  • In the aftermath of the tragedy hundreds of AmeriCorps members stepped forward to help, offering assistance to the injured, serving as family caseworkers, and helping those displaced from Ground Zero find housing and other services. For many, their service was a life-changing experience, inspiring them to pursue lives of public service.       

  • The events of 9/11 and the heroism of our first responders inspired thousands of then-teenagers and 20-somethings to give back. Many voluntarily enlisted during wartime and knowingly risked their lives to protect our country. Others chose to serve their country through AmeriCorps, meeting vital community needs in education, health, disaster relief, and other areas.     

  • All have upheld the virtues of honor, sacrifice, and selflessness that have always been the source of America’s strength. They upheld these virtues through unity and service.    

  • In the days, weeks, and months following the attacks, thousands of people in the United States and other nations spontaneously volunteered to help support the rescue and recovery efforts, braving both physical and emotional hardship.   

Americans will unite with widespread compassion to help to heal our nation.     

  • On September 11th, and throughout the year, Americans show their true patriotism by achieving together what we could never accomplish alone. On 9/11 Day, we salute those who served our country, and join with them through our own acts of service to rekindle the spirit of unity, compassion, and service that swept our nation after that tragic day.     

  • This year, thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds will participate in service projects on September 11. Service projects will range from food drives and home repairs to neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities. In many areas, volunteers will honor veterans, soldiers, or first responders by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank you letters.    

  • Hundreds of thousands of brave men and women continue to serve every day, having answered the call to duty as members of our nation’s armed forces with thousands having given their lives or been injured to defend our nation’s security. This day of service also honors their commitment and sacrifices.   

  • Volunteerism renews and strengthens communities, families, and ourselves. As more families are dealing with challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we don’t turn inward, but instead create common cause.  

Self-starter project ideas

  • Collect school supplies and deliver them to a local school (make sure to discover what they need first. COVID may have changed what schools need.).
  • Sign up to serve or deliver meals to those at risk of hunger.
  • Work with a local food bank or pantry to collect or deliver donations.
  • Sign up to be a mentor or tutor (This can be done virtually).
  • Beautify a local park or community space – fall is a good time to plant trees and spring blooming bulbs.
  • Arrange a virtual visit to a senior citizen center or send cards to residents/clients of a senior center.
  • Check with your local fire station and see if you can organize a fall clean up or serve them a meal. 
  • Arrange a visit to a veterans’ center. You can also check with the center to see if they need personal care items and launch a collection drive.
  • Add a moment of silence to your project to honor 9/11 victims and their families.
  • Join your neighbors for a meeting to assess your community's disaster preparedness and take steps to support improvements. Find more information at Ready.gov.
    • You are the Help Until Help Arrives: Life-threatening emergencies can happen fast, and emergency responders aren’t always nearby. You may be able to save a life by taking simple actions. To learn more or organize a training for your community, check out these FEMA resources.
    • Ready for Winter: You may have neighbors who could use assistance preparing their homes for the winter months. Or you may belong to an organization that knows of residents who could use some assistance getting ready for winter. Here are some tips from the Department of Energy on saving energy in the fall and winter, and steps you can take to make sure you and your neighbors are ready for colder weather.
    • Accessible and Safe Homes: Does someone in your community need basic safety devices or a ramp to be able to navigate into their home? Consider joining with an organization that serves senior citizens to help install safety bars in bathrooms, build a wheelchair ramp, or make minor repairs that eliminate a safety hazard. (Visit this site to learn the basics of building a wheelchair ramp.) And, make sure that any project you do, meets or exceeds local building code requirements.
    • Fire Safety: Home fires increase during the winter months. The American Red Cross has toolkits and safety tips to help prevent home fires. You might also partner with your local fire department to install smoke alarms in neighborhoods with the highest incidence of home fires.

Remember to register your service project with us so we can help spread the word about your event and inspire others to serve.

Lesson plans

Sept 11 Day Grant Terms and Conditions

Additional resources can be found at 911Day and Youth Service America.