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Remembering September 11th – Traditions of the GWOT Age

Community Support
Community Support
September 7, 2023
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Grunt Style’s Annual Reading of the Names

For years, a solemn tradition has been held at Grunt Style. It includes a dedicated moment of silence to reflect on the nation’s loss, and the reading of the names of those lost in the September 11th attacks. 

The tradition is held yearly, taking several hours to complete. It has been said that you’re only truly gone when the last person speaks your name, so what better way of honoring those no longer with us by keeping them alive another year?

Grunt Style was conceived by warriors who answered the call to service post-9.11. Their drive to unify, and defend our pride and country against the opposition has pushed forward through the years to who we are today. That's why we wholeheartedly invite you to stand with them on 9/11/2023  as they read the names of all those lost so we may never forget.

The Tower Climb

There are many variations on this tradition which have gained roots over the years since 9/11, but they all stay true to the soul of the event. The Twin Towers, felled on that September morning in 2001, consisted of 110 floors, a total of 2071 steps. In cities across the United States, members of the community, firefighters, law enforcement, medical personnel, military and veterans climb this distance in the full weight of their duty issued kit. The standard infantryman carries a lot of heavy gear, to say nothing of the firefighter wrapped in heavy bunker gear with a SCBA on his back. This is often a grueling challenge, lined with photos and mementos of the persons lost on that day and the days that followed, to show both our remembrance of the lives cut short, and honoring those who rushed into the maelstrom of chaos and concrete to save lives only to succumb themselves. 

Tower Climbs are organized in most major cities, and in some cases gyms with stair masters. Check your local listings to find one near you that you can participate in or support.

The Ruck March

Similar to the Tower Climb, the 9/11 Memorial Ruck March symbolizes the spirit of endurance and sacrifice shown during this fateful time. Different organizations will set different goals, but in the end the sentiment remains the same. Military personnel and their supporters will don fully laden packs and equipment, and march over a distance often in excess of ten miles. 

Other Ways to Show Support

Even if you cannot participate in one of these events, there are still ways to help. Even the support for 9/11 first responders (sadly only passed after a decade of fighting by John Fields and Jon Stewart) doesn’t fully cover the needs of survivors, so these charity organizations can help, but remember to do your research before giving a check to anyone.

Tuesday's Children - Started after 9/11, this charity aims to provide support, such as mental health help as well as career and counseling programs, to survivors of the attacks and families of victims. It has now expanded its focus to include those impacted by terrorism or traumatic loss such as military families.

Scholarship America - This nonprofit's Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund was created to help those who lost family members on 9/11 afford higher education. As of last year, the fund had given away $176 million in scholarships to 3,848 students. It says need however has doubled since it began as it now provides aid to relations of rescue workers who contracted illnesses as a result of their efforts on 9/11.

FDNY Foundation and New York City Police Foundation - Honor one of the tens of thousands of firefighters and police officers who helped victims on 9/11 by gifting to the nonprofit arms of the city's first responders, which run a number of programs aimed at educating residents and making the city safer.

Brotherhood Of The Fallen NYC - Brotherhood for the Fallen is a fraternal charity composed mainly of officers of the NYPD. The organization sends NYPD officers to police combat line of duty funerals throughout the United States. They cover travel expenses (air, hotel, rental car) so the officers can attend the viewing and funeral services, continuing the long tradition of supporting fallen officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Their presence offers vital emotional support to grieving families and fellow officers. Grunt Style proudly supports their noble mission. To contribute, visit their website, or purchase a custom shirt to contribute to Grunt Style’s initiative to support those who serve today.

USA Cares, Inc - Created after 9/11 to provide support, financial assistance, and post-service skills training to the military veterans, service members and their families who were deployed to fight terrorism, this nonprofit aims to improve veteran's quality of life and prevent suicides.

Every year as the anniversary of the terror attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania come up on the calendar, conversations are had among those whose service was a result of that day, people who experienced the event firsthand or had a loved one who did, and those who still struggle to understand why. There is an urge to remember the strength America had following these events, supporting one another and putting aside petty animus to rise up in our own defense and rebuilding. No matter how much we wish to move forward though, there will always be a section of our minds devoted to the knowledge exclusive to this horrendous history. Where we were when it happened, who it affected in our lives, what we chose to do afterward all have become an annual reflection.

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