This week we commemorate the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Though it has been a decade since those senseless acts of terrorism, most Americans can and always will remember what they were doing when planes tragically crashed into the Pentagon, the World Trade Centers and a field in Pennsylvania.
For many who live in Northern Virginia, memories of this anniversary are even more vivid because they were experienced first-hand. On this, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Americans across the country will celebrate the lives of the victims and give thanks to the brave first responders, without whose bravery this tragedy would have been far greater.
This week there will be many opportunities to recognize the anniversary, with a variety of memorial services across the region. If you have time, I encourage you to attend one of the local memorial events.
Another fitting way to pay tribute to those lost on 9/11 is to dedicate a portion of your day in the service to others.
In the days and months following the events of September 11th, our country came together to mourn the needless loss of life, showing that even in the depths of despair, the good in humanity can and will rise from the ashes. Each one of us holds this day in our collective memory as a defining moment, not just of tragedy, but of the resilience and compassion of the American spirit.
It is in this truly American spirit that September 11th was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Established into law as part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve AmericaAct in 2009, the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is a time to pay tribute to the lives lost by helping others.
From food drives to neighborhood cleanups, more than one million Americans are expected to serve in their communities in honor of September 11th this year. To learn more about the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance or to find a service project in your neighborhood, please visit www.serve.gov.
September 11th will remain a difficult memory for our country. As we each take time to reflect on those events and the changes our nation has seen over the past decade, I hope you will consider participating in the service of others. Part of our nation’s responsibility as a beacon of freedom, hope, and democracy for the rest of the world is recognizing the needs of our neighbors and fellow Americans.
Rep. James Moran (D) is Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.