Peace, Remembrance, and Service

Peace. A word that conjures images of symbols and hand gestures, the sounds of The Beatles, history lessons about the 60‘s, hippies and anti-war movements, and memories of idealism and hope. But peace shouldn’t just be an ideal of the past or a part of today’s media hype. With 2011 marking the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center—what better time to remember those who gave their lives, reflect on how far we’ve come, and get inspired to work towards a more peaceful future at home and abroad.

Where were you? Similar to the fall of the Berlin wall, JFK’s assassination, and the first steps on the moon – most of us have a memory of where we were and how we felt when the first plane hit. We were fearful for friends and family, shocked and confused waiting to learn what it all meant and what would happen next.

A few memories from our staff: 

“I remember lots of confusion and difficulty in finding out what was going on, trying to get hold of loved ones and a general sense of worry and panic.  We ended up getting stranded overseas as plane travel was restricted. We definitely felt helpless.” – Julia Hughes, Marketing Assistant, JustGive

“I was in the car on my way to high school, with the radio a slight murmur in the background. My dad abruptly increased the volume and listened with a face of shock I had never seen. I was full of questions he couldn’t begin to answer, and I felt both naïve and confused. With hesitation, my dad let me go to class and we all sat silently throughout the day with eyes glued to the TV—as our teacher wrote the most current statistics on the whiteboard. In the days and weeks that followed, there were stories from classmates who were touched by the tragedy. I learned a lot, and it marked a big part of me growing up and becoming more aware of our Nation’s standing in the world.” – Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator, JustGive

“It was an ordinary work day – until I saw the news. Shock set in and it was hard to pull away. I remember staring at the screen in disbelief, trying to take it in, listening for more information. Personal stories of survival were little miracles that rose from the ashes. For a while, our humanness as a nation—our compassion, care and consideration for others—was so present. We were gentler and kinder to each other in the aftermath.” – Candy Culver, Marketing Consultant

What will you do? What was a horrific date that spurred years of global political debates and US military involvement in the Middle East, is now a date of service and remembrance.  No matter how unique your perspective, every American was impacted—it brought us together in mourning and in a spirit of cooperation.

Movements like 911day.org urge visitors to claim a good deed or charitable activity they will do in honor of the victims, survivors, and leaders that rose in response to the attacks.

Saying a prayer, talking about it with co-workers or during family meal are things we can easily do. But I would like to challenge us all to do a little more: plant a tree, volunteer, educate yourself, or teach a child about what happened on 9/11 and promote an understanding and desire for peace in our future.

This year, take personal action.


— Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator

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