Fourteen years ago, I woke up, logged onto AOL, and read the newsfeed in disbelief. I thought it was fake. How could one of the World Trade Center towers have been hit by a plane? Did a pilot run off course? How did they not see it in front of them? Where were the air traffic controllers, somewhere sleeping? I turned on the TV and watched the news, and I was immediately horrified as I saw the second plane hit the tower in real time. At that moment, I knew (as did everyone else) that it was no accident.
I went to work at the Gateway Country store in Bakersfield, CA., but no one came in to buy computers that day. We all watched the news dumbstruck from the display computers. Two more planes went down that day in a seemingly coordinated attack. However, the most important thing that happened was the response of the community. The first responders were our heroes! They sacrificed their lives, putting themselves in harm’s way to save others.
I choose not to remember the heinous acts of a few who would cause terror. They deserve no such privilege, as to be remembered, forcing me to live in a dark emotion of vengeance, which would only be to give in to what they wanted. Rather, I choose to remember the heroic acts of those who put service to others above all else. Today is a day to remember that service.
As such, I wanted to share something I found on a great website called Points of Light. Points of Light is a wonderful service that places people who are seeking to volunteer and be of service to others. They claim to be the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, placing millions of volunteers across the globe. They have a multitude of for-profit and non-profit corporate partners, and they were founded by former President George H. W. Bush.
The following was obtained from: http://www.pointsoflight.org/signature-events/911-day-service-and-remembrance
9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance
This year on the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, we will be joining veterans with children for a unique storytelling project that honors veterans and military families. If you’re in the Washington, D.C., area, please join us in service. Sign up here.
If you live elsewhere in the United States, check out 9/11 volunteer opportunities atAllforGood.org by searching “9/11.” For more information about the 9/11 Day of Service, please visitwww.911day.org.
During last year’s day of service, Points of Light – in partnership withOperation Gratitudeand George Washington University, and with support from the Corporation for National and Community Service paid tribute to the Sept. 11, 2001 first responders.
As volunteers gathered at the university, in Washington, D.C., Vice President Joe Biden stopped by to thank them, encourage them and join them in honoring first responders.
“What you’re doing matters to them,” he told the volunteers. “The recognition matters.”
The vice president then circled through an assembly line with volunteers from the university, AmeriCorps and various nonprofit organizations. They put together 500 hygiene kits – with toothpaste, nail clippers, shampoo, combs and more – forOperation Gratitude, which distributes care packages to veterans, first responders and the caregivers of wounded military members. There was also an opportunity to talk to first responders from local fire stations.
Points of Light – in partnership with Operation Gratitude and George Washington University, and with support from the Corporation for National and Community Service– organized the volunteer service project.
Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, came to applaud the volunteers. She said to them that volunteering on 9/11 is a sincere way to “participate, honor and give back.”