, a bipartisan coalition of mayors funded in part by the , has announced that it will work to mobilize millions of Americans in volunteer service, including projects in all fifty states, to mark the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the first official September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
To support the effort, Rockefeller will provide funding to the Fund for Cities of Service, which will be used to develop local service strategies, facilitate the dissemination of best practices, articulate policy proposals, and promote partnerships between city halls and local universities. As part of a multiyear effort, the coalition will engage with other mayors to develop a comprehensive service plan and coordinated strategy to match volunteers with organizations working to address the areas of greatest local need; advance strategies that accelerate the service movement and produce measurable results; and ensure that cities have a voice during federal legislative, policy, and program discussions related to service.
According to the , the designation of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of an effort launched in 2002 by 9/11 family members and support groups led by to honor those who died while rekindling the spirit of unity and compassion that pervaded the country in the weeks following the attacks. In observance of the anniversary, volunteers across the country will honor veterans, soldiers, and first responders by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank-you letters, while others will participate in projects ranging from food drives and home repairs to neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities.
September 11 also marks the end of the summer phase of President Obama's United We Serve initiative and its transition to a sustained, long-term effort. Since its launch in June, more than 250,000 volunteer opportunities and 2,200 service stories have been posted on , which also lists volunteer opportunities and do-it-yourself projects for 9/11.
"The anniversary of 9/11 is always a very personal day of sadness and reflection for me and my family," said MyGoodDeed co-founder Jay Winuk, whose firefighter brother was killed as a result of the attacks. "But it can also be a day when the nation comes together to embrace once more the spirit of compassion that helped our family and the entire 9/11 community through the very dark days following the attacks. Rightly so, the anniversary of September 11 will finally become a national day of service and remembrance, and such a designation not only pays appropriate tribute to those who were lost and those who rose in service, but also provides a constructive and meaningful way forward for our nation."