National Day of Service & Remembrance

Remembering the Heroes of 9/11

Credit: “9/11 Memorial” by Doug Miller. Used with permission.


On September 11, 2001, four U.S. commercial airplanes were hijacked; two crashed into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, one went into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the last one crash landed in a field in Pennsylvania. No one in the planes survived, but thousands of others in the Pentagon and in the World Trade Center were in need of rescue. Men and women from all over the United States immediately stepped in to help with the rescue efforts.

We honor the memories of the brave men and women who died on that tragic day, and honor all of those around the world who have worked to help children and families of these victims recover. The firemen and policemen who bravely saved the lives of others, with great risk to themselves, are remembered and honored.

Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for National Day of Service & Remembrance. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.


Mattie Stepanek wrote the poem "For Our World" on September 11th, 2001, as a call for peace, acceptance, and understanding. 


"For Our World" by Mattie Stepanek 

Mattie Stepanek
Credit: Jim Hawkins
Watch "New York Sky," an  animated film featuring the wife of a New York firefighter on September 11.
* Recommended for middle school and high school levels

A touching animation following the wife of a firefighter during 911.
Credit: Vlash Droboniku

Read the story Emmy wrote in 4th grade about her Dad, Jeremy Glick, who was on Flight 93 on September 11th. 

Jeremy Glick

By: Emmy from Saddle River
Jeremy Glick was a hero of Flight 93 and Emmy's beloved father.

Stories about 9/11 Heroes

Welles Crowther

By: Brooke Ellis

Welles Crowther ("The Man in the Red Bandanna") was a volunteer fire fighter who saved at least 18 lives on 9/11.

Harold Schapelhouman

By: Kaitlin from Brea

Harold Schapelhouman is a fire deputy chief who flew from California to the Twin Towers to help with relief efforts.

The Daffodil Project

By: Claudia Herrera Hudson
The Daffodil Project through the generosity of B&K Bulbs in the Netherlands, brought hope to NYC after 9/11.

                   Read and Listen - Great for ESL Students                       The story about Stephen Siller is available in text and audio. 

Stephen Siller: From The Tunnel to the Towers

By: Vincent from Manhasset
Stephen Siller: From The Tunnel to the Towers was a firefighter who bravely sacrificed his life to save others on 9/11.

After 9/11, Artists made images to learn from and survive the tragedy 

 I really admire firefighters because when everyone rushes away from danger, they face it with a brave heart, especially on September 11, 2001

My Heroes- Firefighters by Danielle from Los Angeles
Credit: Danielle Soloway of Taft High School

A tribute to the love Americans felt for each other and for the first responders after 9/11

9/11 Memorial at Main Beach, Laguna Beach by Doug Miller
Credit: Doug Miller

The Heroes Among Us by Barbara Shen- Cradling a loved one right after 9/11 makes for a powerful image

By: Barbara Shen

Children painting peace mural after 9/11 under the direction of Joanne Tawfilis and the Art Miles Mural Project

By: Art Miles Mural Project

Consider creating your own work of art honoring a hero from 9/11 or a service project in your community to submit to the MY HERO Gallery.


These short films reflect the remarkable stories, emotions and heroism following the attack of 9/11.

Includes animation, music video and documentary genres. 


* Recommended for middle school and high school levels

Always a Family

Produced by:StoryCorps / Directed by: The Rauch Brothers
On September 11th, 2001, Michael Trinidad called Monique Ferrer from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower to say one last goodbye.

9/11 Memorial: To Light

Produced by:Carolyn Downie

'To Light' is a music video tribute made for the opening of the new 9/11 Memorial in NYC.

Cookie Girl in the Hot Zone

Produced by:Skip Blumberg
A post-9/11 portrait of a young girl who baked and served cookies to the workers coming and going to the World Trade Center site. First aired on WGBH and Zoom's program America's Kids Respond

Call to Action

Producer: Laura Nietzer

Kids take up activism in memory of a classmate's father Jeremy Glick, who lost his life in the attack of 9/11.

Related Links and Resources

September 11th Digital Archive
Credit: 9/11 Digital Archive

Lesson Plan Resource for Service and Remembrance from 9/11 Tomorrow Together
Credit: 9/11 Tomorrow Together

9/11 Memorial and Museum
Credit: 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The Daffodil Project Website
Credit: New Yorkers for Parks

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year:

Check out the MY HERO Calendar

My Hero Calendar - 365 Days of Heroes
Credit: mh

Students: Share Your Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.



Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editor and Writer Shannon Luders-Manuel. Shannon is a critical mixed race scholar and writer based in Hollywood, CA. 


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Artwork curated by MY HERO Arts Education and Gallery director Victoria Murphy. 

Organizer created on 6/4/2011 2:09:44 PM by Becky Miller

Last edited 8/21/2019 12:56:05 AM by Xenia Shin