President Obama today officially declared September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance and urged people who participated in the administration’s “United We Serve” summer-volunteer campaign to stay engaged with their projects throughout the year.
“Working together, we can usher in a new era in which volunteering and service is a way of life for all Americans,” he said in a proclamation.
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed into law last spring, designated September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance — a goal of many families of victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. But the president’s proclamation makes it official.
“I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost,” the proclamation says, also calling for ceremonies and other observances and a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern time.
President Obama announced the United We Serve campaign in June, asking people to volunteer during a period that would culminate with activities on September 11.
Many groups, corporations, and individuals are planning volunteer activities on Friday, including more than a dozen cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials.
Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, will give a keynote speech at a commemorative event in New York co-hosted by My Good Deed, a charity that promotes volunteerism to honor the victims of the September 11 attacks, and ServiceNation, a coalition of groups that promote community and national service.
David Paterson, New York’s governor, and Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, the state’s two U.S. senators, will also speak.
The plans of the president and first lady have not yet been announced.