How you can commemorate the victims + heroes of 9/11
Fifteen years is a long time. It's possible that many of you reading this right now are 17 years old, or even younger. Today, 17 years is a significant amount of time because it is the number of years that have passed since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001.
This day is commonly and simply referred to as "9/11." We understand that many of you girls were simply too young at the time to remember and/or understand what happened. But that doesn't mean you can't involve yourself in conversations about the events. If you'd like to learn more about what happened that day, we recommend reading the timeline (or watching the informational videos) at History.com. Should you choose to do so, please proceed with caution, as the facts or images found there may be upsetting to some.
Today is what we now consider Patriots' Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. So once you educate yourself, here are a few things you can do to remember the nearly 3,000 individuals that lost their lives that day.
Keep your ears open. This day can be very isolating and lonely for those who lost someone they love in the attacks. If your friend, significant other, family member or classmate is one of those people, reach out to them today. Let them know that you're thinking of them and you're ready to listen if they need to talk. Do understand, though, that if they come off as cold, that it's nothing personal. Some choose to use this day to tune out the rest of the world and just be sad, and that's perfectly OK.
Tweet about it. In recent years, #alwaysremember and #neverforget have become popular way sto express appreciation and share messages about those who died in the attacks, as well as to the responders who gave their all to save as many as they could. If you find it appropriate, send a Tweet or post a message on Facebook with a sweet note using the tags.
Say "Thank you." According to USA Today, 343 firefighters and 60 members of law enforcement lost their lives in the attack on the Twin Towers. Those are very large, startling numbers. No matter where you live, pass along a thank you, a handshake or even a simple smile to those in uniform today.
And if you're just feeling generally sad—which is completely normal on this day—read the below quote from the film Love, Actually...
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there—fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge—they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
How are you paying tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11 today?