9/11 was tragic. Catastrophic. Calamitous. There is no denying that the horrifying memories of the day will remain with us for years to come. However, it would be naive to look past the valuable lessons the day can teach us. These could offer up a solution to many problems facing us today.

It’s also just as important to celebrate the lives of the victims that lost their lives that day. The past may be painful, but that should not stop us from celebrating our heroes. The National Day of Service and Remembrance seeks to do just that by transforming the anniversary of 9/11 from tragedy to one of remembrance and doing good.

The idea was initially conceived in 2002 and has been practiced every year since. It wasn’t until 2009, though, that it came to be known as the National Day of Service.

Now, every year on September 11th, millions of Americans come together to honor the victims that lost their lives in 2001, as well as celebrate the efforts of first responders and military personnel that risked their lives to save others.

Read on to learn five simple ways how you can Honor 9/11 victims and heroes at your workplace.

5 Ways To Honor 9/11 and National Day of Service in the Workplace

Fortunately, there are many ways to observe and participate in the National Day of Service in the workplace. From giving back to the community to respecting the work of our heroes, the opportunities are endless.

Here are five ways you can honor 9/11 and the National Day of Service in the workplace:

1) Give Back to the Community

There is no better way to honor our heroes of 9/11 than to give back and make a difference in your community. 9/11 volunteer opportunities are plenty, and by participating in them, individually and collectively, you can come together and work for the greater good.

Charity Bike Build: You and your colleagues can help thousands of children through our Charity Bike Build. At the Charity Bike Build, you race against your peers to build bicycles that are donated to children of parents who cannot afford them. Not only will you be bringing smiles to thousands of children around the country, but there’s also nothing like a competitive exercise to help strengthen the chemistry and bond between you and your work colleagues.

Wheelchairs in Motion: Wheelchairs enable suitable individuals to remain mobile and maintain their independence. Providing wheelchairs to those that cannot afford them is a great way to give back to the community. The Wheelchairs in Motion program tests your leadership qualities as you try and orchestrate your team to work most efficiently and enables your team to give back to people who deserve it.

Impact Online: Another great way to give back is to support the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals with Impact Online. Tackle initiatives ranging from climate action to quality education to reducing inequality and more. As the team maneuvers through puzzles, trivia, and other creative tasks to help support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Impact Online provides many 9/11 volunteering opportunities to bring you and your team together while helping the community.

Paws For A Cause: Honor the service dogs that played a huge part in the 9/11 search and rescue by giving back to them. The Paws For A Cause program allows your team to participate in a variety of pet-themed activities to gain points. Then, the teams will exchange their points for the supplies needed to make a dog bed, pull toy, and cat scratchpad or pet gift basket for donation. You will benefit your local animal shelter by donating these much-needed supplies.

2) Participate in a Moment of Silence

A moment of silence is an opportunity to reflect and contemplate. It is a sign of acknowledgment and respect. Observing a moment of silence at six points during the National Day of Service is an excellent way to honor 9/11 victims and heroes.

The six moments of silence are held at specific times and signify key events that took place on that day. A breakdown of these moments is as follows:

  • 8:46 am- The exact instance when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower
  • 9:03 am- The moment when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower
  • 9:37 am- The moment that American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon
  • 10:02 am- The moment when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field outside Shanksville
  • 10:29 am- The moment when the North Tower collapsed

3) Honor a Guest Speaker

Another way to honor 9/11 in the workplace is to invite a guest speaker to talk about the impact of that day. This is a great opportunity for your team to break away from the stress and rigors of daily life and gain some perspective. There are many inspiring speakers that share their personal experiences of 9/11. This includes Mark J. Lindquist, a nationally recognized motivational speaker, shares with you a perspective on this national tragedy many say is the first original thing they’ve ever heard about September 11th.

4) Attend a 9/11 Memorial Event

9/11 memorial events are another great way to celebrate the lives of our men and women of courage. Many commemorative events are held throughout September as millions of Americans gather to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 and the 1993 World Trade Center truck bombing. Luckily, you can join them.

These events are held throughout the country. For instance, in New York, a traditional bagpipe tribute is scheduled to be held between 1:30 pm to 2 pm every Wednesday during this September. Even if you are not based in New York, you can still attend a 9/11 memorial event. Check the local 9/11 memorials and museums to find events near you.

Additionally, keeping with the times, you can attend several memorial events virtually from any part of the world. From immersing yourself in an interactive museum experience, or learning about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda responsible for the attack on the twin towers, to attending webinars and public programs about the continued impact of 9/11, the options are plenty.

5) Fly Your Office Flag at Half Mast

‘Half-Mast’ refers to a flag position when it is halfway between the top and bottom of the staff. Flying your office flag at half-mast is a sign of respect and grief. It is believed the practice originated in the early 16th century when a navy crew flew their flag at half-mast to pay tribute to their fallen commander. The U.S. flag is flown at half-mast following the deaths of high-ranking government officials, various holidays, or in times of national crisis.

By flying your office flag at half-mast this 9/11 Remembrance Day, you can pay tribute to all those that lost their lives 20 years ago.

Honor Your Country Service Members Every Day

You don’t need to wait for the National Day of Service and 9/11 Remembrance Day to honor our country’s service members. Instead, you can show respect for our nation’s heroes every day of the year, especially this Veteran’s Day, with our Operation Military Care program.

Our Military personnel continuously risk their lives for us without ever receiving anything in return. The Operation Military Care program allows companies and volunteers to put together care packages as a small token of their appreciation. These packages are sent to overseas soldiers directly or to charities such as Operation Homefront and Blue Star Mothers that accept these gifts on their behalf.

Anna Webber

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