9/11 National Days of Service and remembrance

The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of a seven-year effort started by 9/11 family members and support groups to establish the service day as a way to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 and to rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that followed the attacks.

It's a positive and forward-looking way for Americans and others to forever honor and remember the September 11, 2001 victims and survivors, as well as those who rose to service in the aftermath of the attacks.

9/11 Day was originally created in 2002 by two friends, David Paine and Jay Winuk. David and Jay had worked together in New York City, long before the 9/11 attacks. Jay’s younger brother Glenn, a partner at the prominent national law firm Holland & Knight LLP, was one of the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11. For almost 20 years Glenn also was a volunteer firefighter and EMT, specially trained and certified in building collapse rescue operations, working out of the Jericho Volunteer Fire Department on Long Island. When the World Trade Center was attacked, Glenn helped to evacuate his law offices, then raced into the WTC’s South Tower to participate in the rescue efforts. Glenn died in the line of duty along with many others when that building collapsed. His partial remains were found in March 2002, a borrowed first response medical kit by his side. In 2002 they formed the nonprofit group One Day’s Pay in honor of Glenn and all those who perished. The organization was later renamed MyGoodDeed.

MyGoodDeed, which represents the interests of many 9/11 organizations was the first group to formally call for September 11 to be designated as a federally-recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance. Progress was made in 2002 when President George W. Bush declared September 11th 'Patriot Day' honoring both the victims and heroes of the September 11 attacks, and highlighted the spirit of service by launching USA Freedom Corps. In 2004, Congress unanimously passed H. Con Res. 473, expressing the sense of Congress that September 11 should be a national day of service and compassion.

In 2008, President Bush amended the Patriot Day proclamation to specifically include 'volunteering' as an appropriate form of remembrance. In 2009, Congress, in a bi-partisan, bi-cameral action, passed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which for the first time authorized the President of the United States to formally designate 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. On September 11, 2009 President Obama amended the Patriot Day proclamation to officially and permanently make 9/11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance, as requested by Congress and the 9/11 community.