Groups Reflect, Remember Ahead of 9/11 Anniversary

The 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States offers an opportunity for groups around the country to remember what was lost and to focus on public service.

The September 11, 2001, attacks have in many ways defined the 21st-century American psyche.

But while 9/11 was a tragedy—one marked by prominent memorials in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, and elsewhere, as well as by a variety of events—groups have also used the day to create a way forward, in a sense. Nonprofits have used the anniversary as a day of public service and peace, a redirection that could deepen the power of the anniversary in the years to come.

Among the ways that groups are responding to the 9/11 anniversary this Sunday:

Calling for a campaign moratorium: Last month, the organization 9/11 Day, a nonprofit group that has focused on turning the anniversary into a national day of service, called for the four major presidential candidates to take a day off from campaigning. “Americans everywhere wish to observe 9/11 in the same spirit of national unity, prayer and service that brought our country together in the immediate aftermath of the attacks,” explained David Paine, the nonprofit’s cofounder, in a news release. Politico notes that there were concerns the campaign moratorium would be ignored, but Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Gary Johnson have each agreed to suspend their campaigns that day. Jill Stein, the other major candidate, hasn’t said anything, one way or the other.

Taking on a Bold Initiative: 9/11 Day is also closely involved in a new five-year campaign that will officially launch on Sunday, called “Tomorrow Together.” Supported by a wide array of nonprofits—among them Save the Children, the AARP Foundation, Teach for America, and the National Association of Broadcasters— it hopes to encourage a spirit of empathy, peace, and togetherness among children. “While many ‘Tomorrow Together’ programs may launch or be timed annually to coincide with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks,” the 9/11 Day website states, “‘Tomorrow Together’ is meant to be an on-going, long term program to instill the values of unity and cultivate a new generation of empathetic change makers.”

Supporting a Cause to Save Lives: Ahead of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the American Association for Justice, whose member lawyers worked to help 9/11 survivors and their families in the wake of the deadly attacks, is taking on a new cause—one meant to save lives. The group will be teaming with the nonprofit End Distracted Driving to offer presentations to teenagers throughout the month of September, with the goal of preventing car accidents caused by distracted driving. AAJ is calling on is members to volunteer for the cause.



Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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