9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance


“It’s been 12 years and a lot of times I get disappointed because Sept. 11 has just become another date on the calendar.” says Fairview, New Jersey Police Chief Frank Del Vecchio.

So Del Vecchio decided last year to do something to honor and help the families and friends who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.  He raised $12,000 for a children’s charity through a memorial run that began at his home in Ridgewood, NJ to the World Trade Center site.  This year he is running again.  And hopes to raise more money.

Del Vecchio is not alone in turning 9/11 into a day of service.  Two friends, David Paine and Jay Winuk, founded a group called “I will– 9/11 Day.”  Their web page explains the purpose.  http://www.911day.org

“9/11 Day is the international non-profit movement to observe September 11 every year as a day of charitable service and doing good deeds. We created this observance soon after 9/11 to provide a positive way to forever remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks, and remind people of the importance of working more closely together in peace to improve our world. Today millions participate annually by taking time out on 9/11 to help others in need, in their own way.”

9/11 is this generation’s “day of infamy.” We all remember where we were. What we were doing. Who we were with. It’s been 12 years, but it seems like yesterday.

The attack of 9/11 was devastating on several levels. The tragic loss of innocent life. Destruction of the landmark twin towers. Harm to our economy. And changes impacting our way of life.

Yet, we recall, that as with any tragedy, there were many positive moments. Strangers assisting total strangers. The heroism of our fireman, policemen and first responders. The unity in our country. Politicians laying aside partisanship for the greater good. Unfortunately, the passing of time, other problems that have captured our attention, and rancor of the current political climate has diminished that spirit.  The “I will” movement seeks to recapture the 9/11 spirit.

Some of the commitments posted on their web page were “I will make food for my neighbors.” “I will volunteer at my local soup kitchen.” “I will say something nice to a stranger.” “I will teach students to be proud to be Americans.”

The “I will” slogan reminded me of a piece attributed to William A. Ward.

I will do more than belong; I will participate.
I will do more than care;   I will help.
I will do more than believe; I will practice.
I will do more than be fair; I will be kind.
I will do more than forgive; I will forget.
I will do more than dream;  I will work.
I will do more than teach; I will inspire.
I will do more than earn; I will enrich.
I will do more than give; I will serve.
I will do more than live; I will grow.
I will do more than suffer; I will triumph.

Christians are called to greater service. Nobler ministry. Deeper commitment. The second great command is for us to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matt 22:39). And Paul commands us “to do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).

What will you do? Not just today on 9/11. But this week? This month? What opportunities do you have? What resources are at your disposal? What talents do you possess?

Some have money to give. Others time to volunteer. Maybe it is a special ability to do something than others can’t. Maybe it is a simple thank you for someone who served you. Maybe a smile. Or a wink. A hug. A pat on the pack. A kind word. An encouraging note. A helping hand.

Can you say, “I will” to your family? To your neighborhood? To your service club? To your school? To your church family?

Think about it. Two powerful words that can make a big difference. I will.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under America

6 responses to “9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance

  1. Sandra Jo Williams, Pine Bluff Church of Christ

    My first charitable deed is to give my husband a much-needed break … I’m sending him to Walmart! Then, I will call people who have recently lost loved ones and had surgeries. I’m going to love my neighbors by picking up the trash in the street on my walk. Seriously, I really like this blog, and I do understand your message…a message that should be incorporated into our DAILY lives. Thanks for getting me started today.


  2. Inspiring. Thank you for another great post!


  3. Nick Rowe

    Good soberly, thought…


  4. Larry Hafley

    Ken, I don’t know much about writing, but I’ve done a little bit of it, which, I think, gives me the liberty to say that I appreciate the fact that you produce thoughtful material day after day.  It’s work you don’t have to do.  There is no expectation that you have to take the time and energy to do it.  But, you do it anyway.  That is commendable.  Take care.  Larry


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