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Twelve years later: 9 ways to commemorate Patriot Day, the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks

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CINCINNATI - The mention of Sept. 11 or 9-11 immediately takes you back to the day that changed the face of the nation. You’ll never forget where you were when you heard the news of the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon; the plane that crashed in a Western Pennsylvania field.

This year, you can honor Patriot Day and pay tribute the the brave men and women who lost their lives, as well as the ones who reached out a helping hand. 

1. The President calls for all flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Patriot Day. From the White House to government buildings here and abroad to your house. Flying your flag at half-staff is a simple way to commemorate the day.

2. Patriot Day always includes a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Observe this moment by taking a time to reflect, wherever you may be.

3. Use http://www.nationalservice.gov to find volunteer opportunities your community. Giving your time and talents and strengthening your community is a welcomed way to commemorate Patriot Day.

4. One of  Boy Scout Troop 940’s major fundraisers is Flags Over West Chester: for $30, the Troop will post an American flag in front of your home on six American holidays--the next one being Patriot Day on September 11. Find out more about this service on the Troop’s website.

5. Join the Cincinnati Reds in honoring law enforcement and safety officials on Police & Fire Appreciation Day. Many of the day’s ceremonies feature members of local police and fire departments, and discounted tickets are available for all members of those departments (see the offer here).

The Reds are also commemorating Patriot Day with Reds and Cubs players and coaches wearing caps adorned with the American flag.

6. The Hoxworth Blood Center and Cincinnati Fire Department are promoting blood donation in remembrance of the victims of 9/11. You can go to hoxworth.org or call 513-451-0910 to find out where you can donate.

7.) Students from College Hill Fundamental Academy will commemorate Sept.11 by singing original songs and reading inspirational pieces during their 9/11 Patriot Program. The event is at the academy: 1625 Cedar Ave., and begins at 9 a.m. 

8.) Green Township is dedicating its Sept. 11 memorial Wednesday at 8:40 a.m. at the Green Township Administrative Complex, 6303 Harrison Ave. The event will feature remarks from the Township’s police chief, Fire/EMS chief, Rep. Lou Terhar and Sen. Bill Seitz.

9) Remember how neighbors came together in the days and weeks following 9/11? People relied on the kindness of strangers, good deeds were done without hesitation, and Americans made an effort to prove the terrorists ultimately failed – America was not broken.

Wednesday seems like a good time to relive those strong moments. Thank a military service man or woman. Thank a police officer or firefighter. Give that neighbor you don’t know very well an extra wave, or stop for a chat. You can even perform a random act of kindness. It’s not International Pay It Forward Day, but some ideas on this list are applicable any time of the year and are a great way to show our American strength and fortitude.

How will you mark the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2011?

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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