The tragedy of 9/11 brought people together, and nonprofits are working toward the same goal this weekend

By Sophie Yang, ’19

On Sept. 11, 2001, the World Trade Centers — the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere — burned and collapsed with thousands of people inside. More than 3,000 people from at least 50 countries died from the al Qaeda terrorist attacks.

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-11-54-01-amFifteen years later, 9/11 has become the marker of a new era, affecting everyone’s daily lives. Congress now regulates airport security, thoroughly checking for weapons and regulating liquids in hopes that it can stop a similar tragedy in the future.

“Before Sept. 11, 2001, there was… no comprehensive federal requirements to screen checked or carry-on baggage; and only minimal in-flight security on most flights,” John Pistole, former TSA administrator, said in a 2011 speech.

The war against terrorism, which 9/11 ignited, is a staple in modern society and always a background in the news. For example, a Google search for “terrorism” will bring up more than 100 million results.

This year, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have agreed to stop campaigning on Sept. 11, and the 9/11 Memorial in New York will flood with those reflecting on the tragedy.

People worldwide have also coordinated projects to remember 9/11 and unite people against it. Tomorrow Together, a collaborative project of more than 20 nonprofit organizations, will conduct extensive service projects on the anniversary. Volunteers will work with food banks and pack more than a million meals for veterans, seniors, and children in Washington, D.C.

David Paine is the president and co-founder of 9/11 Day, the nonprofit group that led Tomorrow Together.

“We hope the 15th anniversary of 9/11 [reminded us] that the differences that sometimes divide us pale in comparison to our common humanity,” Paine said. “We collectively prepare to honor those lost on 9/11, the survivors, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks.”