Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance


September 7, 2023

From the National Office of the

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Edited and Submitted by Bill Tawater,

Commander, Wahkiakum VFW Post 5297

I speak on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to honor and remember the deeply meaningful observances, Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. Both of these significant days hold a special place in our hearts as they not only commemorate the tragic events of September 11, 2001, but also remind us of the enduring spirit of unity and service that defines our nation.

Patriot Day, observed annually on September 11, is a day that will forever be etched into the memory of every American. It is a solemn day of remembrance, a day when we pause to reflect upon the heartbreaking events of that fateful morning in 2001 when the United States was attacked by terrorists. We remember the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, as well as the countless acts of heroism displayed by first responders, military personnel, and ordinary citizens who risked their lives to save others.

On Patriot Day, we grieve for the victims and their families. We mourn the loss of so many promising futures and the innocence of our nation. But we also draw strength from the way our country came together in the aftermath of the attacks. In the face of unspeakable tragedy, we witnessed the true spirit of America – resilience, unity, and unwavering patriotism.

Patriot Day serves as a stark reminder that freedom and democracy are not to be taken for granted. It reinforces our commitment to defending these principles and to never forget the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women who have fought, and continue to fight, to protect our way of life. As veterans, we understand the weight of that duty, and we stand as living testament to the values for which our nation stands.

But Patriot Day is not merely about looking back. It's also a call to action. It's a day that challenges us to honor the memory of those we lost through acts of service and kindness. It's an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of our communities and to build a better future for generations to come. We simply can’t talk about Patriot Day without discussing National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Established in 2009, National Day of Service and Remembrance, also known as 9/11 Day, encourages all Americans to engage in acts of service and volunteerism in tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose in service in response to the attacks. It's a day to channel our grief and anger into positive action.

On this day, we see the true power of unity and selflessness. We see individuals from all walks of life coming together to clean up parks, visit veterans in hospitals, support first responders, and assist those in need. It's a day that demonstrates that while the events of 9/11 sought to divide us, they ultimately made us stronger.

As veterans and VFW members, we understand the profound impact that service can have on a person's life. It's in our DNA to stand up and serve our communities and our nation. National Day of Service and Remembrance gives us an opportunity to lead by example, to inspire others to join us in service, and to pass on the values of duty and sacrifice to the next generation.

To the more than 1.5 million VFW and VFW Auxiliary members, Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance are more than just dates on the calendar. They are reminders of the indomitable spirit of America and the enduring values that unite us as a nation. They remind us that even in our darkest hours, we can find strength in our unity and hope in our acts of service.

As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, and pay tribute to those we lost, let us also embrace the call to service and continue to build a brighter future for our nation. Let us never forget that the best way to honor the memory of those we lost is to live our lives as patriots, dedicated to the principles of freedom, unity, and service.

Thank you for your support, and may we always stand together as proud Americans.


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