How to Honor Those Affected by September 11

On September 11th, 2001, four commercial airliners in the U.S. were hijacked and intentionally crashed, resulting in the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, resulting in the collapse of one side of the Pentagon just outside the Washington DC borderline along with the last plane crashing into an open field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the deaths of more than 3,000 people. Many people who didn't die in these attacks were injured, traumatized, and faced with the loss of family and friends. This article will outline ways you can honor all those affected by this day.


  1. Image titled Honor Those Affected by September 11 Step 1
    Focus on respect over retribution. Dwelling on blame and punishment, while understandable, will taint the day with feelings of anger and hate, which are feelings that generated the attacks in the first place. On the anniversary of 9/11, keep the victims first and foremost in your thoughts, not the attackers. Remain conscious of your thoughts, and whenever you feel anger, try to bring your attention back to sympathy and compassion for the victims. See How to Release Anger.
  2. Image titled Honor Those Affected by September 11 Step 2
    Observe a moment of silence. To express your understanding of the impact and shock that the 9/11 attacks inflicted, stop whatever you're doing, put your head down, and sit or stand still. Some people meditate on the gravity of the event, and some people pray. You can do this by yourself or with a group. Many people do this on the anniversary of the attacks, but you can honor those affected by the attacks at any time of the year. It may be appropriate to take a moment of silence at the times that the airplanes crashed:
    • 8:46 a.m. EST - World Trade Center North Tower [1]
    • 9:03 a.m. EST - World Trade Center South Tower [1]
    • 9:37 a.m. EST - the Pentagon [1]
    • 10:03 a.m. EST - Shanksville, PA [1]
  3. Image titled Honor Those Affected by September 11 Step 3
    Thank someone who helped on September 11th. There were many firefighters, police officers, volunteers, victims, and bystanders who reached out when tragedy struck. Send a thankful note or flowers their way, or thank them in person.
    • Keep in mind that many of the people who acted bravely on 9/11 were traumatized, and thanking them directly might be hard on them because it brings back memories. Don't be offended if they're disoriented or even perturbed by your gratitude.
    • The person you thank doesn't have to be alive in order to be honored. Visit their memorial or create one yourself (see How to Make an Online Memorial Tribute).
  4. Image titled Honor Those Affected by September 11 Step 4
    Read the accounts of people who witnessed 9/11. Sometimes the best way to honor someone is to put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they went through. Many of the people who survived 9/11 have written about their experience. Reading and listening to their stories will broaden and deepen your perspective on what happened that day. You will probably find that many of the people who survived 9/11, as well as those who lost friends and family in the attacks, realized how precious life is and how much they value the relationships in their lives. Honor their pain by taking such lessons to heart:


  • If you decide to donate to a charity supporting victims, do careful research first. There are several scam charities trying to exploit your fears to get money for things that have nothing whatever to do with the victims.

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Categories: National Days (USA)