In case you have not turned on a TV or looked at the Internet lately and seen all the media coverage, Sunday is the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Without a doubt, it was one of the darkest days in our great country. They say everyone will always remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on September 11. Do you? I remember that day with shocking detail. I was in my first year of law school at The University of Texas. I had an 8:30 class that morning – Civil Procedure with Professor Mullinex. Because I lived a short walk from campus, I was still getting ready in my apartment watching the Today show at around 8:10 am, when the first plane struck. I can still hear Katie Couric’s voice describing the scene, and everyone around the country watched in horror as the second plane struck. I had almost no time to digest what had just happened, as I rushed off to class. At the time, the UT Law School had a large lounge area with a big screen TV. All day, the room was packed with students and professors alike glued to the screen. Laptops sat out all around the room with various coverage of the events coming from all directions. I think we all knew our lives would never be the same.
Although September 11, 2001 was one of the worst imaginable days, it also led to great unity in this country. It showed Americans at their best. Everyone wanted to help. Republicans and Democrats alike came together, remembering that we are all truly in this together.
Unfortunately, that unity was relatively short-lived. Today this country seems as divided as ever. It is frustrating and often disgusting to me. The 10th Anniversary of 9/11 has been designated as a National Day of Service. I think this is such a wonderful opportunity for this country to re-unite and remember that we are all in this together.
About a month ago, when I learned of the National Day of Service, I decided to host a service project (a door-to-door food drive to be followed by a swimming party and dinner)on September 11. I invited around 40 or so friends and put the word out on Facebook and in the blog, trying my best to gather a big group of people for what I hoped would be a great event. I was so excited and thought others would be, too. Unfortunately, only one friend has decided to come. It makes me really sad, and I am trying very hard not to let this ruin my enthusiasm for this project and others. My mom thinks people are not interested in going door-to-door. Maybe people are more interested in the first Sunday of NFL football, or maybe everyone just has too much going on in their lives to join us. Whatever the reason, I have decided that from here on out I am not going to let it bother me. This project is not and should not be about me or how other people view me or the project. This project – all of my projects – are about helping others and teaching my children to give. I will not let my daughter know that I am sad our project will be much smaller than originally planned. She never knew that I invited or expected a lot more people, and I am determined that we will have a great time on our own. Hopefully our neighbors will be generous and we will still be able to donate a good amount of food to the local food bank.
Whatever your plans are for this weekend, I strongly encourage you to do something to give back for the National Day of Service and in memory of 9/11. We should all use this to re-focus on the important things in life. We should all be helpful and giving and caring to everyone – no matter what their political persuasion or background – every day, not just this weekend. But, if you often find it hard to remember that, this weekend provides the perfect opportunity to renew your enthusiasm to give. If you have plans for the National Day of Service, I would love to hear about them! You may be the inspiration for one of our future projects!