The 13th Anniversary of September 11th is fast upon us, as I write this, it is a matter of hours away. As has become my personal tradition, this is a big day for me (and for much of the world as well). A lot of time has passed since that awful September 11th when the world changed. One thing that hasn't changed for me is that there were real people that died that day and families were torn apart. It is those families that I think of when I do things related to Project 2996.
I discovered Project 2996 when I was doing research of an article that I was writing about September 11th, and it has become a part of my life ever since. Doing research on some of the victims brings them into your life and though you have you probably never met them the memories of their lives become part of you and as long as you live, these memories will live on. It might not make any sense to someone who hasn't participated yet, but surely you have read something in your life or seen something (via television or possibly online) that has touched you. If you haven't experienced this, you need to, because it is at moments like this that our humanity shines through.
For the 11th Anniversary, Project 2996 started a project of pinning pictures of all of the victims of September 11th into a Project 2996 group pinboard on Pinterest. The goal is to get a pin done for every single victim, with a tribute written up for them as well. This year Project 2996 has added another campaign focusing on the Legacy of the victims. This too is being done via a group pinboard on Pinterest. This new group pinboard is called "Project 2996 Legacy"
I July I ran across a book called "Just a Few Sleeps Away", by Mike Nichols, who tells the the story of a family of one of the victims and how they dealt with their loss. This got me thinking about the legacy that all of the victims have left. I noticed that there were streets and buildings named after victims as well as scholarships and charities that have been created. There has been a lot done to create a legacy for the victims. This was the inspiration for the new group pinboard.
Dale and I have learned some lessons by being involved in Project 2996 and this has also influenced the decision to run this (and the other campaigns) for the entire year, not just a few days around the annual commemorations. The original group pinboard has more have 500 pins and the new pinboard already is off to a good start with over 30 pins.
I don't know if you've done the #ALS #IceBucketChallenge (I have), I found it refreshing that some many people did it. I don't think that you get too much debate about it being one of the better known campaigns of all time. Organizations around the world are looking at that campaign to see what they did right and how they can use this for their purposes. I personally have enjoyed seeing who I knew would end up doing the challenge as well as what celebrities. You can join us in any of the Project 2996 campaigns, it won't tax your pocketbook, you won't get doused in icy cold water, you'll learn something about the victims and you'll have a whole different outlook on September 11th.
On this September day, I think about the people that I have written tributes in the past (Keith Roma, Christopher Santora,Joseph P. Henry, Karl Henri Joseph, and Dana Hannon). I especially think of David W Laychak, who was the first person that I've written about in Project 2996. I think about how honored I was to get a comment from Mrs. Laychak, to one of the tributes that I wrote.
I hope that you take some time out of your day to remember the victims of September 11th, their families, their friends, and the world as this day left all of us a little sadder and world a little less richer because of all these wonderful people we lost and the impact of society that they would have had and the lives that they did and would have touched. You can follow the new Project 2996 Legacy and the original Project 2996 boards on Pinterest and even join us if you'd like to do some pinning. You can also write tributes of your own. If you don't have a website or blog to post them on, I'd be happy to post them for you. Feel free to leave a comment. If you knew any of the victims, I'd love to hear your memories and stories about them.
Here are my posts for the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Anniversaries You can read more about the pinning campaign here. The Project 2996 website is here, the Facebook group is here, and the original Project 2996 group pinboard is here.