Today is the National Day of Service and Remembrance. I didn’t actually know that, until I went looking for something I’d heard on the radio about doing a good deed on September 11th as a way of acknowledging the day, but apparently it’s very official, federally recognized and everything. Forbes has a story about it, if you want more info.
For me, commemorating through remembering and memorializing comes a little too close to wallowing, not because the tragedy affected me personally but because it was so overwhelming at the time and maybe also because I’m a pragmatist. I could light a candle and say a prayer, and maybe I will, but what good does that do anyone? Especially right now while hundreds of thousands of desperate people are fleeing the middle east. It doesn’t exactly feel like we’ve come a long way in the past 14 years, or if we have, maybe it was in the wrong direction.
Fortunately, Patrick Rothfuss has given me a better outlet for my need to remember the day. Doing What We Can is surely better than doing nothing, especially today. I’ve never felt so grateful to donate money, to have the opportunity to say, yes, I am not quite helpless in the face of the world’s horrors. Pretty much helpless, but not entirely.
Anyway, today is also World Suicide Prevention Day, which seems sort of like terrible timing on their part. I would think the date’s other significance would get in the way of getting much attention. Although, I don’t know, it is a depressing day, so maybe they figured now was a time when people needed to be reminded that the world is not always as bleak as it seems?
In that spirit, I’ve decided to give away the pretty beaded bookmarks that I got to celebrate 250,000 downloads of A Gift of Ghosts. I meant to do one of those serious Rafflecopter things with them — tweeting and liking pages and all that jazz — but eh, that does not inspire me. This does. If you donate to Worldbuilders and/or suicide prevention and/or do some other good deed today and share it in the comments to this post, either on Facebook or on my blog, I’ll enter you to win one of three bookmarks. I don’t get a lot of traffic, so your odds are pretty good, and the bookmarks are lovely. (This is not the world’s best picture, but it gives you the idea, I hope.)
Plus, even better, you too will get to know that in a world that sometimes seems impossibly dark, you’ve chosen to be a little tiny flicker of light. That doesn’t feel like enough, but you can never tell which spark will light a fire. Maybe it’ll be yours.
I took pictures for 3 hrs of families cleaning the grounds of a school. Now printing copies for parents/kids to keep and some to go in local newsletter.
On 9/11, two of my children were called to active duty. One 20 and the other 24 ( my daughter) To honor their service and them coming home alive we paid for any military that came in the Chick Fil A we were at. It’s across from Tinker AFB. The guys were surprised and grateful as were we.
Marian Knop Elavsky said:
I don’t need a bookmark since I was lucky enough to win one before. Your comment about World Suicide Prevention Day really struck a cord. A woman that I have been friends with for 25 years just committed suicide on Monday. She was always fighting depression even though she had so much to live for. I will never understand this.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Marian. I know depression can be hard to understand from the outside. Have you ever seen Hyperbole & A Half’s posts about fighting depression? They’re really good.
Marian Knop Elavsky said:
No I haven’t. I will have to check it out. Thank you.
Kristy Halley said:
On 9/11 we took our locate police cupcakes and a jar of lifesavers.And told them how thankful we were for their service!
It’s not just something we do on 911 but we try to always give food, drink or even a little money to the homeless. The other day when it was very humid we saw a homeless woman and we went to McDonalds and bought her a couple of sandwiches and a couple bottles of water. It’s just the right thing to do we may not have much but we have a roof over our heads and we all would do better to help one another!