09/11/2012 10:41 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Looking Back, Moving Forward

On 9/11/2001, I was one of the many people in New York City to watch the fall of the World Trade Towers. The sights, sounds, and memories of that day will be something that I continue to think about throughout my life. There are no positive memories of that morning and there never will be for me.

As vivid as the memories of that morning have been over the last decade, the memories of people moving to action in New York to serve the victims, the families, and the public servants of 9/11 are as vivid. In a matter of minutes and hours, an act that was meant to freeze the country and our freedom, led to an outpouring of immediate action. If terrorism is about creating inaction, our country is about action. If the business of America is business, the action of America is action.


A scene of FDNY firefighters remembering the fallen.

Action America is an organization founded to allow people to serve, donate, and share in their local communities in the spirit of the millions of people who spontaneously responded and served the country after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The goal of Action America is to annually create the largest set of positive actions across America to help turn 9/11 into a day of positive action. Kenny Dichter, the Founder of Marquis Jet, and I founded Action America to increase volunteerism and to amplify the efforts of the many people and organizations who have committed themselves to making 9/11 a day of positive actions.

For 2012, Action America is focusing our efforts on three organizations -- The 9/11 Memorial, Tuesday's Children, and The Wounded Warrior Project. We are also partnering with the 9/11 Day of Service to offer volunteer opportunities in thousands of communities across the country.

Twenty-six percent of Americans did volunteer work in 2011, totaling 8.1 billion volunteer hours. Our country is built on a foundation of service and the fact that a quarter of Americans volunteer is a powerful message that Americans are united in selflessly improving their communities, one volunteer at a time. Serving and volunteering can happen in small ways and in big ways. We are very proud of the people and organizations that are moving the country forward by giving time and energy around 9/11.

We will always remember 9/11 as a senseless tragedy. We hope 9/11 will also become a day of action and a day to improve the future of the country and our communities. We hope you will visit and a find a way to become one of the Americans that sends a message to the world -- inaction and terror don't live in this country.

Action Up -- TA