Proclamation to Celebrate the Character of the Heroes of 9-11

September 11, 2002, marks the first anniversary of unprecedented terrorist attacks that resulted in a momentous loss of life and property. The terrorists hoped to bring the people of the United States to their knees; instead, they brought them to their feet. The terrorists hoped to demoralize and intimidate freedom-loving people everywhere and to undermine their ways of life. Instead, the victims and survivors of these horrible attacks became more resolute in their commitment to cherished democratic and humanitarian principles. This anniversary of tragedy is also an anniversary of triumph, a triumph of character—courage over cowardice, kindness over cruelty, service over selfishness, responsibility over indifference, love over hate, hope over fear, and freedom over repression. We should demonstrate our respect for the victims of this terrible day by commemorating the lives that were lost and damaged, but we should also honor and celebrate the countless acts of courage, compassion, loyalty, and responsibility that represent the best in human nature. We should remember September 11 not only as a day of great misfortune but as a reminder of the great fortune we possess in the character of people who know that character counts. It should be a day of reflection and education involving activities that strengthen appreciation of, and dedication to, the core ethical values that constitute the pillars of character—trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. It should also be a day of action devoted to community service, an element of good citizenship and an expression of good character. Community service improves neighborhoods, eases suffering, and reduces injustice while enhancing the lives and strengthening the character of those who render it. Community service is also a matter of national policy in the United States, expressed in President George W. Bush’s call for all U.S. citizens to give at least 4,000 hours of service and in the Spirit of America Act, which seeks to ensure that the lives lost on September 11 are commemorated by acts of volunteer service. Now therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the (Insert Name of Municipality or Department) proclaims the period commencing September 8, 2002, and ending September 14, 2002, as Character Week and calls upon schools, youth organizations, community groups, and government agencies to use this period to
  • Discuss and study the lives of individuals of extraordinary character;

  • Recognize local individuals who have in the past year demonstrated the highest qualities of character;

  • Teach young people about—and encourage them to consider—careers in public service; and,

  • Provide service-learning opportunities to young people, including at least one hour of service during this period, as a first step in a commitment to a life of regular community service.

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