Enacted back on December 18, 2001, the 107th Congress designated September 11th as Patriot Day. It is a national day of service and remembrance on which flags are flown at half staff, a moment of silence is observed and state and local governments are to observe it with “appropriate programs and activities.”
On the first Patriot Day, then President Bush said these words as part of his speech:
“Inspired by the heroic sacrifices of our firefighters, rescue and law enforcement personnel, military service members, and other citizens, our Nation found unity, focus, and strength. We found healing in the national outpouring of compassion for those lost, as tens of millions of Americans participated in moments of silence, candlelight vigils, and religious services. From the tragedy of September 11 emerged a stronger Nation, renewed by a spirit of national pride and a true love of country.”
In 2009 on Patriot Day, President Obama said:
“Today we remember those we lost on that dark September day, and we honor the courage and selflessness of our first responders, servicemembers, and fellow citizens who served our Nation and its people in our hour of greatest need. Throughout America, patriotism was renewed through common purpose and dedicated service in the days and weeks following September 11. Many joined our Armed Forces to protect our country at home and abroad; others chose to serve in their own neighborhoods and communities, lending their skills and time to those in need. Fences and boundaries gave way to fellowship and unity. In the wake of loss and uncertainty, Americans from every corner of our country joined together to demonstrate the unparalleled human capacity for good.”
Oak Lawn’s Metra Station should have the designation “Oak Lawn – Patriot Station.” Please contact Mayor Heilmann (DHeilmann@oaklawn-il.gov) and ask for his support. There is no other descriptive word that ties the unique contributions of our First Responders, the resilience of the American Spirit, and the outpouring of community support with the tragic events of September 11, 2001.