What Will Your “I Will” Pledge Be Today?

Driving to work today, I was listening to a popular talk radio station that led discussions focused on September 11. Likely so, as today marks the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that changed our nation. Specific conversations on this radio show centered on effective methods to weaken terrorist groups, potential new attacks using biological weapons, and how Americans are remembering those lost in the horrendous acts 12 years ago.

A particular story that stood out to me was about a non-profit movement that observes September 11 every year by urging individuals to go out and perform a charitable service or good deed. The association is called 9/11 Day and was created in 2002 by two friends, David Paine and Jay Winuk. The website, www.911day.org, includes a “quilt” of volunteers and individuals that support the movement along with their pledge of performing a good deed, opportunities to volunteer in your community, and toolkits that offer employers, teachers, non-profits, and government agencies tips on how to get involved. This incredible group describes their efforts as a means to “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.” Wow! When I read that sentence, it caused me to pause (not while I was driving) and really think about what I am doing to “work more closely together in peace to improve our world.”

Over the weekend, I visited some friends at their house for the first time. Upon walking into their home, I immediately noticed a large framed American flag. What I didn’t notice at first glance, sewn into the white panels of the flag, were the names of each individual that lost their life on September 11. I inquired about this amazing piece and learned that it was a charitable effort done by a church in New York City. I don’t know how many of these flags exist nor how many people proudly display this flag in their home, but I was in awe by the work. To these friends, 9/11 is a daily reminder to live their lives to the fullest and “work more closely together in peace to improve our world.”

Through the company I work for, I am lucky to have the opportunity to give back to my community in many ways. I try to take advantage of as many as I am able, as well as support charitable events outside of the workplace. But could I be doing more? Sure, we all could!

What are you doing to “work more closely together in peace to improve our world,” not just on 9/11 but every day?

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Terrence (Terry) Hill

A team of volunteers from my agency volunteered last Saturday at the DC Fire and Emergency Services Training Academy, in partnership with The Mission Continues and MyGoodDeed. We had a great time beautifying the academy to honor September 11th and our herioc first responders!