Learn more about the history of Patriot Day and why we celebrate the anniversary of September 11.
There are moments in people’s lives that they will never forget what they were doing and, recently, September 11, 2001 is often one of those moments. The airplane terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. were events that not only shook the United States, but countries all over the world. Among the awfulness of the attacks came a new sense of patriotism in the United States that is celebrated every year.
Every year on September 11th we celebrate Patriot Day, honoring all 2,977 victims killed that day. Originally, Patriot Day was going to be called Prayer and Remembrance of the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. The name ‘Patriot Day’ was opposed by Massachusetts, which already had a Patriots’ Day.
On October 25th, 2001 the House of Representatives approved Joint Resolution 71 by a vote of 407-0 that requested the President designate every September 11 as Patriot Day. On December 18th, 2001 President George W. Bush officially signed into law the special day of remembrance.
What can you do honor the victims on Patriot Day? The law states that the President requests that the American Flag be flown at half-staff at all homes, the White House, and all US government buildings and establishments home and abroad. Patriot Day also includes a national moment of silence beginning at 8:46 AM (Eastern Time), the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
While the holiday was officially signed into law, it is not a Federal holiday. This means schools and businesses do not close to observe the occasion. Many people still refer to the day as September 11 or simply “9/11.”