As we remember the heroes of September 11th, their families, and those who stand on the front lines of freedom, every day, everywhere, reflecting upon lives lost, dreams unfulfilled and promises deferred, we also look to the future, rekindling that spirit of democracy that is the essence of this great nation.

Today, we lay aside partisan politics, petty bickering and the small-mindedness of self indulgence to join hands in that which unites all Americans in a common cause -- a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Not only do we commemorate this day in our own hometowns, paying tribute to those who gave the last full measure of devotion on a bright crisp September morning, not unlike today, 11 years ago. We also pay tribute, through service in the community, which service extends to college campuses across the land.

From the American Association of State Colleges and Universities:

In 2002, family members who lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as well as support groups and other organizations began to seek forward-looking tributes to honor the sacrifice of those who were lost and honor to those who rose in service in response to the tragedy. Encouraging Americans to participate in service and remembrance activities on the anniversary of 9/11 anniversary is a productive and respectful way to honor those who perished and rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that swept our nation after 9/11 to help meet the challenges we face today.

Because of efforts to build support for this idea, September 11 was designated The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance by the 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

The American Democracy Project encourages its member colleges and universities to honor those lost to the tragic events of 9/11 and to sponsor educational and community-building events to commemorate this National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Today, we come together as a nation -- strong, persistent, determined -- not only in commemoration of those who gave their lives, those who risked their own safety, and those who put service before self, but also, to rededicate ourselves, through local deeds with global reach, to service in the name of freedom.

There is no greater service than public service, and no greater good than service to the community. 

Today, we remember. Today, we reflect. Today, and every day, we commit ourselves anew for country and community!

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