- Sun, September 11 2011
- Filed under: Events
Ten years ago today, I was driving to work in Washington, DC when I heard on NPR that an airplane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I immediately worried for my family members who lived and worked in the financial district. They were unharmed, but so many others were clearly not so fortunate, and the day spiraled into a terrible string of further tragedies.
No one is going to forget that day. The question is, how do we choose to remember it?
This week, I’ve heard many media interviews with people deeply affected by that day, and a common theme emerges: That they don’t want to relive the day but rather remember it in constructive ways. I feel the same, and in that spirit, here are three ways to do something good and life-affirming on this sad anniversary.
1. Go to My Good Deed’s 911Day.org site and find ways to donate, volunteer or post a tribute.
2. Visit Action America, which urges positive actions like volunteering and giving to charities like Wounded Warriors.
The wall of photos, pledges and positive actions is very moving. There are many stories about the small ways people are trying to make a difference, from kids cleaning up the park where they play baseball to a couple who’s committed their retirement to volunteerism:
Dave Adanich, 65, was only a day away from retiring after 38 years with AT&T, where the television was always tuned into the news. He looked up to see a plane flying into one of the Twin Towers on the screen, and remembers being really annoyed with his colleagues for switching to a movie channel. In the hours and days that followed, Dave and his wife, Judy, listened to President Bush exhort the nation to get involved, to step up and help our country. “Where do I fit? What do I do?,” Dave’s wife, Judy, remembers thinking. Dave began taking Community Emergency Response Team training, and then Citizen’s Fire Academy and Citizen’s Police Academy classes. Over time, working with the fire department became the Lilburn, GA, couple’s passion. Now, they both volunteer about 20 hours a week with the Gwinnett County Fire Department, doing clerical and administrative work. Judy, 61, is president of the Gwinnett Citizen’s Fire Academy Alumni Association, which works to educate children on fire safety and dealing with fire emergencies. The couple figures they’d still be pursuing their hobbies of making stained-glass windows, reading and volunteering for this and that if 9/11 hadn’t happened. “Working with safety is different,” Judy said. “And we’ve become passionate about fire safety.”
3. Check out Blogher’s excellent articles on how to talk to kids about the anniversary and the events of 9/11.