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Honoring 11th Anniversary of 911

Under the bright blue cloudless sky, waving American flags line the parking lot of the high school up the street. It’s a beautiful sunny morning and the flags are there to remind us that today is September 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I also hear church bells ringing loudly, cars honking, birds chirping, children laughing, and airplanes roaring above as if my senses are on high alert.  It’s an ordinary day,  but it’s not.

Although we’ll never forget that day when thousands of people died and how our world changed forever, it’s easy to get caught up in our daily lives and not stop to recognize the significance of this tragedy, which is now marked as National Remembrance Day.

And as Rosh Hashana approaches September 16 at sundown, we can use the 911 memorial to jump start our religious obligations of the high holidays, namely self awareness, spiritual growth, and commitment to improve ourselves and our relationships with others.

11 Ways To Honor 911 and The High Holidays

1. Fly an American or Israeli flag. (at least post the symbol on Facebook).

2. Take time to reflect on the loved ones you have lost during your lifetime.

3. Treat people nicer, remember the way we did immediately following the days after 911.

4. Listen more. Talk less.

5.  Instead of watching the TV news about 911 all day, get outside  and do something positive.

6. During this election year, don’t get caught up in the politics of 911.We’re all in this together.

7. Learn the words to the Star Spangled Banner and what it means.

8. Make a donation to the Red Cross’ national blood supply.

9. Stop by your local firehouse or police department to say thank you with a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

10. Volunteer at temple during the high holidays. Sign up to usher, collect tzedakah, organize a tashlick ceremony after services, share apple treats with a food pantry, whatever way makes the holiday special for your family and others.

11. Watch the PBS rebroadcast of “Faith and Doubt At Ground Zero,” which explores  among other things, “Where was God on Sept. 11?”