Government Leaders Mark September 11th with Service

President Obama has declared today as Patriot Day and National Day of Service, and senior administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, cabinet secretaries, and the heads of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Peace Corps will take part in service projects.

In a proclamation issued yesterday, President Obama remembers the events of September 11th:

Through the twisted steel of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the scarred walls of the Pentagon, and the smoky wreckage in a field in southwest Pennsylvania, the patriotism and resiliency of the American people shone brightly on September 11, 2001. We stood as one people, united in our common humanity and shared sorrow. We grieved for those who perished and remembered what brought us together as Americans.

Today, we honor the lives we lost 8 years ago. On a bright September day, innocent men, women, and children boarded planes and set off for work as they had so many times before. Unthinkable acts of terrorism brought tragedy, destruction, pain, and loss for people across our Nation and the world.

In the same spirit of patriotism that united us after September 11th, 2001, President Obama asks us to “join in service and honor the lives we lost, the heroes who responded in our hour of need, and the brave men and women in uniform who continue to protect our country at home and abroad.”

In honor of the day of service, President Obama, members of his cabinet and others will participate in service projects. Below is a partial list — link here to read about all the administrative officials and what they are up to tomorrow. President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, AmeriCorps members and volunteers are painting a Habitat for Humanity home in Washington DC.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will attend the New York City’s September 11th Commemoration Ceremony at Zuccotti Park. In honor of the new federal designation of September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance, family members will be paired with volunteers from throughout the five boroughs to read the names of those who died at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has encouraged embassies around the world to foster partnerships with service and faith-based organizations. She will also keynote the commemoration of the first annual 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance at the Beacon Theatre in New York City — Idealist’s own Joanna Eng will attend and blog about the event (so look for it next week).

Sponsored by MyGoodDeed.org, Service Nation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the special event will pay tribute to victims and families of the victims of the September 11th attacks, and feature performances by Gavin DeGraw, the Harlem Boys and Girls Club Choir, Anjulie, and The Roots, with remarks by:

Proving that she is extremely committed to service, Acting CEO Nicola Goren of the Corporation for National and Community Service will not only speak at the September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance commemoration event mentioned above, but she will also participate in two different service projects in New York City.

In the morning she and Corporation Board member Julie Fisher Cummings will join volunteers at P.S. 76, the A. Philip Randolph School in Harlem, to work with 3rd and 4th graders on a reading and essay project, and in the afternoon, she, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Trade Representative Paul Kirk Donovan will paint houses and visit with residents of the Supportive Housing Apartments for the Formerly Homeless in New York City.

Peace Corps Director RPCV Aaron S. Williams and Peace Corps staff will support the Washington D.C. Whitman Walker Clinic in its HIV/AIDS prevention efforts by organizing and boxing medical records for archiving.

Are you participating in a service project today? What are you doing?

If you are looking for a project to join, check out Serve.gov‘s volunteer listing, and then let the folks at 911day.org know what you are up to!

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