More than a Memory: 9/11 Tributes Strengthen the American Spirit

“The events of September 11 grow distant in time, but they remain vivid in the memory of our nation and in the hearts of those who suffered such a great loss.”—Laura Bush

Almost surreal, time’s traveled 12 years since the day that changed it all, and America’s well adjusted to the new normal known as post-9/11 America.

As this day so potently reminds us (whether you call it carpe diem, seize the day, live life to the fullest or YOLO), make each day count. Today marks the fifth 9/11 National Day of Service—a day where Americans are encouraged to volunteer in their communities to honor the heroes lost on September 11, 2001. While our American identity inherently changed twelve years ago, the tragic memory only makes us stronger.

Cowardice terrorists may have exposed Americans to a daunting reality when they stripped away our veil of false security, but in doing so, heroes arose out of the incomprehensible pandemonium. Some we know; others we don’t. Nonetheless, these heroes sacrificed so much to save, serve and protect in the name of American freedom. For that, they deserve our country’s eternal thanks. That’s really what remembering and serving on this day is about.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the United States came together as a community of Americans instead of a society of people. Strangers pulled together as neighbors. Volunteers flocked to ground zero and raised funds to help in any way they could. And in our mourning, we gathered as one.

At times, we’ve used our freedoms to separate ourselves from our fellow countryman—defining each other by the different labels and belief systems we subscribe to, like race, religion and political affiliation. On 9/11, we stripped away all defining labels except for one: American.

Even brands picked up on the united American identity and paid tribute to the fallen. Anheuser-Bush’s iconic commercial depicted America’s favorite brewer’s signature Clydesdales traveling to New York City and bowing their heads with ground zero in the background. The spot epitomized the American spirit and aspiration to pay respect to the Americans we lost. Anheuser-Bush updated the ad for the 10th anniversary (when Americans came together as one, once again, to remember the day). The spot changed very little but delivered an equally powerful message.

 

 

As part of the 9/11 National Day of Service, Americans can remember the nearly 3,000 Americans and citizens from 90 other countries who lost their lives during the September 11 terrorist attacks and pay tribute to those heroes and their families by coming together and giving back for the greater good.

Cover Photo Source: Cassandra Bremer

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.