VA National Cemeteries and non-profit Carry the Load will hold a National Day of Service on Sep. 9 marking the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
National Day of Service: A growing event each September
This is the fourth year the National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry The Load to provide a meaningful volunteer opportunity since 9/11. The day of service will take place at more than 60 cemeteries and include opportunities for volunteers to clean headstones and participate in other beautification activities.
“The sacrifice of generations of Americans who put on the uniform for our country is on display at our national cemeteries,” said Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Matt Quinn. “By performing a service, by cleaning a headstone and saying their names, we tell these heroes our nation has not forgotten all they sacrificed for us.”
Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM)
NCA invites family, friends, volunteers, and loved ones on the National Day of Service to visit its Veterans Legacy Memorial to post photos and tributes on a Veteran’s page. Known as engagements, VLM has around 40,000 engagements to date.
Launched in 2019, this online memorial includes 4.5 million Veterans interred at VA national cemeteries or in VA grant-funded state, territorial or tribal Veteran cemeteries. Individual Veteran profile pages are populated with military service and cemetery information. Publicly available information gathered from VA records includes service branch with logo, dates of birth and death, rank, war period, decorations, emblem of belief and cemetery information.
Interactive features allow family, friends and others to preserve their Veteran’s legacy by posting tributes (comments), upload images, share their Veteran’s military service timeline and achievements, biographical information, historical documents and more.
VLM has been popular on the awards circuit too. On June 7, NCA received the 2022 FedHealthIT Innovation Award. Earlier in April, NCA received the Internal Association of Business Communication (IABC) Award of Merit.
Challenge to all Americans
Americans can connect to the sacrifices of our nation’s military, Veterans, first responders and their families by respectfully observing Patriot Day, a holiday remembering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia, and those who perished when the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.
Another way is volunteering at a VA national cemetery participating in the National Day of Service on September 9.
“After serving on active-duty post-9/11, many of us returned home having lost good men and women whom we served alongside,” says Stephen Holley, co-founder, president and CEO of Carry The Load. “This Patriot Day, I want to challenge Americans to do an act of service in their community, teach the next generation about how 9/11 unified our nation and honor the memory of those left behind.”
Register to volunteer/participating cemeteries and start times
Those wishing to volunteer should register at Carry The Load’s National Day of Service page. Cleaning supplies and other materials will be provided; there is no cost to participate. To find a list of participating cemeteries and start times, visit the NCA’s National Day of Service page.