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National Service Blog - Archive
by
Greg Tucker

As we look ahead to this year’s September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, let’s step back and consider why service is such an important part of this day.

Over seven years, 9/11 families and support groups worked to establish the day as a way to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 and rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that followed the attacks.

The shocking acts of terrorism on the morning of 9/11 killed thousands of people and left a deep scar on our nation. But what happened in the aftermath revealed the genuine heart of the American people. Conflicting emotions of anger, confusion, and uncertainty yielded to feelings of hope, unity, and compassion. We would not forget the day and the people who were lost, but we would not let tragedy crush our spirit.

President George W. Bush spoke about our nation's resiliency in December 2001, saying that we would replace those emotions of anger and sadness with the "memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend – even a friend whose name it never knew."

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which recognizes September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and charges the Corporation for National and Community Service with supporting this effort across the country. CNCS encourages service efforts on 9/11 by promoting service projects through Serve.gov, giving grants to help communities and organizations with their September 11th projects, and providing tools to connect people with resources that will help them to serve.

To Honor With Service

With the support and encouragement of the 9/11 families, Americans are asked to serve as a way to commemorate that day and the lives that were lost; to recapture that feeling that we are better united than divided; and to recognize the strength that comes from placing others before ourselves.

During last year's 10th anniversary observance of the 9/11 attacks, President Obama recalled how the tragedy brought out the best in the American people and urged our citizens to reclaim that sense of unity and generosity by serving on September 11th.

"Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost," said President Obama. "A way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11."

Our ideal selves emerge when we look outward to serve our neighbors and communities while embracing the common good. We can think of no better way to demonstrate this ideal than by uniting with your fellow Americans on this day to pause, remember, and serve.

Keywords: September11, UWS
I am not done serving yet but I have slowed down since I turned 80.
United We Serve to Save Energy & the Earth!! I organized a home energy efficiency event in Battle Creek, Michigan. The overarching goal was to reach out to the Battle Creek community to help lower their energy costs and decrease carbon pollution emissions.
Believe me, volunteering does wonders for a wounded soul because I received far more than I gave.
On July 23rd, in support of United We Serve’s Community Renewal Week, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ron Sims and Director of White House Office of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrion teamed up with Teens 4 Good at the East Poplar Urban Farm to harvest potatoes for donation.
Governor Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia participated in two United We Serve volunteer projects at the end of July including a park clean up and weatherization of a home.
The Woodville Community Library is not only a place where citizens of Woodville, WI and the surrounding area can borrow books, audio books, and movies, but it is also a community hub of information and activity.
There is nothing like brightening a stranger’s day with a thank you, and a kind gesture.
The Breakthrough Leaders Program's main focus is leadership and one way we did that was by volunteering at a near by care center.
Disheartened by the state of the local cemetary and the lost memory of past neighbors, a Sumter, SC family takes matters into their own hands.
One of the most beautiful places in the Deckers Creek watershed is the scenic gorge along route 7 in Morgantown, WV. Despite the beauty found here, the area is frequently used as a dumping ground for trash.
Zenniah had the challenge and support she needed to succeed when she was a young scholar at Higher Achievement in DC. After graduating from the program, Zenniah immediately returned as a volunteer to help other young people from her community get on that same path to success.
Whole Foods shoppers know that when they donated their unwanted cell phones at Secure the Call’s collection barrels in Ann Arbor and West Bloomfield, MI that not only were they ‘greening’ their community, but they were also helping to keep the Detroit area safe.
I get an overwhelming sense of satisfaction to be able to give something back to the hospital whose dedicated employees worked so hard to give my husband his life back. They gave me my life back too.
As part of ARAMARK Building Community and United We Serve's Community Renewal Issue Week, Rodney, Domonique Foxworth of the Baltimore Ravens, and 150 other ARAMARK employees spent the day volunteering at the East Baltimore Development Inc (EBDI) Community Center -- a place of great importance to Rodney.
When I arrived at work the other day (I collect tolls and distribute information at a booth along a 20-mile stretch of road that cuts through the park), a memo sat by the cash register: To: All Department of Interior Employees From: Secretary Subject: United We Serve What a revelation. Just a short time ago, I sat in an audience hearing from the First Lady about the idea that this summer, service would become an activity of all Americans. Now, two months later, a memo from the DOI Secretary announces a “call to action for all employees to participate in United We Serve and commit to a volunteer service goal this summer.”
Z, a middle school student in a Summerbridge learning program, didn't stand out. Until he started doing Calculus...
The mission of Always Ready Kids was inspired by my Aunt Betsy who is a 9/11 survivor. Aunt Betsy was pushing the revolving door of the Center when the first plane hit. She says that what helped her survive is that she “was prepared with basic items” in her purse like a flashlight and handkerchief. Aunt Betsy is proof that preparedness saves lives.
Through our Community Emergency Response Team training, we came up with a disaster plan for our community. We have had many drills. We separate our community into six sections and send teams of two out to check approximately 50 homes per team.
In 2006, Kristin teamed up with four of her friends to start Birthday Wish. In the past two and a half years, they have helped over 80 families throw birthday parties for their children. The experience has strengthened her friendships and taught her that "young people can make a difference." She advises: "Don't think you can't get it done, don't think a task is too big and never give up."
By helping to care for others and feeding others, the love and compassion of the souls shines brightly. There is nothing more important in life than love for others.
What does "active citizenship" mean for first- and second-generation Korean Americans? What's their role in addressing social problems in their own communities? This student wants to help LA-area youth figure that out.
My name is Robby Riess, Assistant Cubmaster of Pack 353 Brooklyn, NY & Brooklyn District Committee Camping Chairman. We set out to tackle the task of getting a few scouts for the much needed clean up of the shorelines of Floyd Bennett Field which impacts the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge area of Gateway National Parks.
During these past few years, I have seen several major events consisting of structure fires, vehicle accidents, vehicle fires, search & rescues and wild fires. It is teamwork that has proven time after time, that we can perform a task that sometimes leaves you wondering why risks are taken.
For three weeks, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has been collecting men's and women's business attire in an agency-wide effort to donate clothes to unemployed Americans seeking to re-join the workforce.
A little help to get back on their feet.
When NEA teachers get together for their annual conference, they don't just go to meetings. This June, over 400 college students and retired teachers affiliated with the National Education Association pitched in to revitalize an elementary school in San Diego.
I started interning with New Jersey Community Water Watch , which is a program ran by AmeriCorps and NJPIRG in a joint project. The program works by informing community members and students and encouraging them to be active stewards of their local water ways.
Students at Scituate High School decided that their school was not “green” enough and decided to take action by entering Do Something’s “Increase Your Green” competition, where students across the nation competed to see who could get their school to be the most environmentally friendly.
As a part of United We Serve's Community Renewal Issue Week, USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan worked alongside volunteers at the Cleveland Food Bank to prepare sandwiches for hungry children.
Each spring since the restoration, the Bohemian Hall has a fund raising event called “Long Live the Squeeze Box”. Musicians donate a song or two for the event to help with restoration projects. This year we took it one step further.

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