September 11th- Patriot Day & National Day of Service and Remembrance
On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, we pause to remember the events of that tragic day, we honor the victims, and we honor the heroism of the first responders.
Remembering the Victims
September 11th, 2001 is a day that will not be forgotten. This tragic day impacted, and continues to impact all of us in so many ways. As we reflect to this day 18 years ago, the day terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, we recall the tragedy of our collective loss of 2,977 lives.
A bill to make September 11th a national day of mourning was introduced in the U.S. House on October 25, 2001. The bill requested that the President designate September 11th of each year as Patriot Day. Joint Resolution 71 passed the House by a vote of 407–0, with 25 members not voting. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on November 30, 2001. President Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18, 2001. On September 4, 2002, President Bush used the authority of the resolution to proclaim September 11, 2002, as the first Patriot Day.
On September 11, 2013, then President Barak Obama declared that day to be the first observance of both Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance. He called upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff in honor of the victims of 9/11.
Honoring Our First Responders
Of the 2,977 victims, 343 were firefighters, 71 were law enforcement officers, and 55 were military personnel. The first responders cared for the wounded, and rescued and protected those they could. These men and women bravely fought to save lives that day, and many too assisted in the aftermath, the many subsequent years of restoration and healing.
Today we honor not only those who selflessly helped at the scene, but all of those who helped in the aftermath at great cost to their own health, wellbeing, and families. Many of the first responders have suffered, and continue to suffer tremendous debilitating mental and physical conditions that will impact them for the rest of their lives. In July 2019, Congress passed a bill to ensure that the 9/11 first responders will permanently have monetary resources to help pay for their ongoing care and to compensate them for their ongoing conditions.