September 11: How will you remember and pay tribute?

I’ll be spending Sunday helping out at a local farm. It might seem like an odd thing to do, totally unrelated to the anniversary, and maybe on the surface it is. I didn’t plan it as a 9/11 tribute; it just happens that it’s the day when I’ll be needed. But as I think about it, it makes sense. Small family farms like the one I’ll be working on are great symbols of America – they’re full of people who have faith in the land, who work hard so they can feed themselves and their neighbors. In the days following the 9/11 attacks, I paid tribute to the victims by working – on the 10th anniversary, I’ll do the same, though in a different way. As my hands dig in the dirt on an Iowa farm, my mind will be in Washington D.C., and in rural Pennsylvania, and in New York City. [Linnea, Content Manager]

In the days following the attacks, created an online memorial site with a profile and Guest Book for each victim. I joined as a content reviewer six months after the attacks. My job was to review condolences for appropriate content prior to posting them online. In the year following the attacks, every month on the 11th we’d see thousands of messages marking the passing of time – “it’s been 7 months since the day we lost you,” “it’s been 9 months that you’ve been gone.”

On the first anniversary of the attacks, our Guest Books were inundated with condolence messages. Each of us on the then-small team of screeners worked 10-12 hours that day to make sure all messages were reviewed and posted in a timely manner. We knew how important it was to friends and family to see their messages to loved ones. 

Though my daily duties no longer include reading condolence messages, there is one day every year when I do review them – September 11. It is my way of paying tribute to the lives lost.  And each year I am touched by the outpouring of support and love from friends, family, and complete strangers. [Katie, Director of Operations]

I’ll make sure my friends and family know that I love each and every one of them, and will forever do anything for them… no matter what. [Evan, Senior Project Manager]

The “Remembering 9/11” site includes obituaries, profiles, Guest Books, Moving Tributes and a National Book of Remembrance. To date, more than 6 million people have visited the site, leaving more than 200,000 Guest Book entries.


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