Patriot Day: A Day of Remembrance

Patriot Day: A Day of Remembrance

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  1. I would hope that there is no need to define or explain exactly what Patriot Day is or why it’s important that we observe it. Unless you’ve spent the last eleven years in a cave, blindfolded and banging two garbage can lids against the sides of your head, you already know this. But just how should we observe this day?

    For the generations to come, Patriot Day will be just like Pearl Harbor Day, which means little to us—although we understand why it is observed—but can be a poignant day for our parents or grandparents, who actually lived through the bombings of our military bases in Honolulu. All that my generation knows about Pearl Harbor Day is what we have gleaned from movies like From Here to Eternity (which, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should consider not bothering to; it’s just a series of sappy and unfulfilled love stories, somewhat depressing and a major bore). However, my mom still flies her flag with devotion every December 7 and is a bit misty-eyed all day long.

    We who have lived with the memories of 9-11 feel the same thing every September 11. I can’t speak for you, but I still can’t watch the footage of the airliner slamming into Tower Two or the resulting collapse of both World Trade Center towers without choking up. The memories are still far too clear.

    So how can we observe this day with the proper respect and reverence? I have a few thoughts on this matter:

    • Before leaving for work, put up your American flag. If you don’t have one or live in an apartment, you can do as I do and buy a small flag and display it in a window, or affix it to your front door. To show the proper respect for the flag, take it down at sunset, unless you have a spotlight to keep it illuminated at night.
    • Take time out in your day to remember the terrorist attack and observe a moment of silence, preferably with coworkers, friends or family.
    • If you are even slightly religious in nature, take the time to pray for the families of those who lost loved ones in the attack. Keep in mind that for them, this happened yesterday and the wounds are still open and painful.
    • If you live in or near New York City and have an opportunity to do so, go to the 9-11 Memorial. There will be thousands of others there, all for the same reason, so you won’t be among strangers even if you go alone. Fellowship helps the healing process.
    • Make a donation to your local fire department. In this lousy economy, many stations have closed down, and those still open need all the help they can get. You can go to your station to make the donation (and the firefighters would gladly accept donations of food, I’m sure, but be sure that all food and drinks you give are in sealed, unopened containers for safety’s sake). Or you can make a cash donation online through the National Fire Protection Agency’s “Sparky’s Wish List” program. If you have kids, get them involved in this. You can make donations directly to your local fire station by visiting their website utilizing the following link:

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