Leadership

Associations Reflect, Assist on 9/11 Anniversary

With public service and remembrance increasingly becoming intertwined with the anniversary of September 11, 2001, groups around the country are doing their part to reflect upon and build from the events of that day.

While the years since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, will forever be associated with the devastating effects of terrorism, the anniversary of those attacks has also grown into one closely associated with reflection and public service.

That’s due in part to the 2009 decision to designate 9/11 Day as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Recognition is something that’s become increasingly important to many associations. Among the groups taking this mission to heart this year:

MyGoodDeed, which organizes 9/11 Day each year, has enlisted the services of children born on that day. The group, with the help of the advertising firm Grey New York, has launched a new ad campaign called “Born on 9/11,” showing how the more than 13,000 American teenagers who started their lives that day see the event. “When we interviewed these children born on 9/11, we quickly discovered that none of them wished their birthdays were different,” Andreas Dahlqvist, Grey New York’s chief creative officer, said in a news release. “In fact, they feel strongly that they represent what’s good in the world. They are very hopeful about the future and are determined to give back to others.” The National Association of Broadcasters is helping the organization distribute the PSAs to media outlets around the country.

The AARP Foundation plans to take over the National Mall, in Washington, DC, on Friday, leading more than 5,000 volunteers in an effort to pack 1.2 million meals for senior citizens in need. The event, sponsored by Chase, will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank, which will distribute the meals to food-insecure older adults throughout the DC metro area. Top AARP officials, including CEO Jo Ann Jenkins and Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson, will be joined by the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, and celebrity chef Carla Hall.

The National Fireworks Association, which is holding its annual expo in Bristol, Tennessee, this week, will hold memorial events at the Bristol Dragway on Friday and Saturday. The memorial services will honor those lost during the terror attack—specifically saluting the military, police, and emergency medical technicians. Tennessee’s lieutenant governor, Ron Ramsey, will speak at the event on Friday, while Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) will speak on Saturday. The expo is also a remembrance in another sense: The Cam Starr Memorial Challenge, a pyrotechnics contest at the expo, is named for one of the association’s founders who died last year.

The New York Says Thank You Foundation, a group that encourages the “pay it forward” spirit around volunteering that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center, puts on volunteer events throughout the year. Each September, the group chooses new initiatives to take on; one of this year’s tasks involved the rebuilding of a Georgia family’s basement, after it was damaged by a flood. The Lillystone family paid for basic repairs but could not afford to rebuild the basement, because funds were going toward the treatment of the family’s 5-year-old daughter Hudson, who has leukemia. The foundation stepped in before Labor Day to help out. “I don’t even know that words could express how we felt when we found out about the playroom being redone,” Emily Lillystone, Hudson’s mother, told NeighborNewspapers.com.

Is your group doing anything for the anniversary of 9/11? If so, share it in the comments.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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