As the Tribute in Light has again begun illuminating the skies above where the twin towers once stood, we’re jolted to reflection upon our country - and the world - during the 15 years since the September 11th attacks. And while it's a solemn reminder of the thousands we lost that day - and the thousands we’ve lost in the ensuing conflicts at home and abroad since - we’re also reminded of the silver linings that have come from this. These silver linings can take many forms, but in this post we’d like to highlight some charities doing amazing work around the issues that resulted from those historic events.
Helping the children of those we lost on 9/11
Tuesday's Children is a nonprofit that has made a long-term commitment to every individual directly impacted by the events of September 11th. Since 2001, they've promoted healing and recovery by strengthening family resilience, providing individual coping and life management skills and creating community. Recently, they’ve expanded their scope to focus on those impacted by terrorist incidents worldwide. Watch this tear-jerking video and you will see how critical their work is.
Running to remember those we lost
On September 11th, FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller had just finished his shift when he got word over his scanner of the first plane hitting the twin towers. He jumped in his truck and tried to drive to the WTC, but the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, Stephen strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back and raced on foot through the tunnel to the towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded in his memory - and to honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice for our country. They hold events all across the country, which range from a run that’s the same distance that he ran from the tunnel to the towers that day to a tower climb that honors his heroic last actions. The money they raise goes to programs like Building for America’s Bravest, which constructs specially adapted smart homes for our most seriously injured service members. You can support the foundation here.
Fighting for those who have served since September 11th
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the largest organization for post-9/11 veterans in the country. Founded by a 9/11 first responder and Iraq veteran, the group fights for the New Greatest Generation through on-the-ground community building, amazing online organizing, a robust media presence and an advocacy operation in Washington, DC that has fought for (and won) everything from the New GI Bill to increased funding for the VA to the 9/11 First Responders bill. In the build-up to the 15th anniversary of the attacks, IAVA is also hosting the first-ever Commander-in-Chief Forum in conjunction with NBC News, where both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be on stage taking questions on national security, military affairs and veterans issues in front of an audience comprised mainly of vets and active service members. You can support IAVA here.
These are just a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations that have sprung into existence as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks. While we’re sure that most of them would prefer to never have had to exist at all, they are still out here every day, making the best of a bad situation.