Patriot Day

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Patriot Day
Observed by United States
Date 11 September
Next time 11 September 2014 (2014-09-11)
Frequency annual
For the anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution and the holiday celebrated in Massachusetts, Maine, and several other states, see Patriots' Day. For the Quebec holiday, see National Patriotes Day.
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and White House staff observe a moment of silence on September 11, 2009.
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on September 11, 2004 lead a moment of silence on the South Lawn with White House staff and families of victims of 9/11.

In the United States, Patriot Day (known in full as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance)[1] occurs on September 11 of each year, designated in memory of the 2,977 killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Initially, the day was called the Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. When the new name was proposed, it received opposition from Massachusetts, which already had a holiday that is very similarly named, Patriots' Day.

U.S. House of Representatives Joint Resolution 71 was approved by a vote of 407–0 on October 25, 2001. It requested that the President designate September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day". President George W. Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18, 2001 (as Pub.L. 107–89[2]). It is a discretionary day of remembrance. On September 4, 2002, President Bush used his authority created by the resolution and proclaimed September 11, 2002 as Patriot Day.


A bill to make September 11 a mourning day was introduced in the U.S. House on October 25, 2001, by Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) with 22 co-sponsors, among them eleven Democrats and eleven Republicans.[3] It passed the House by a vote of 407–0, with 25 members not voting,[4] and passed the Senate unanimously on November 30. It was signed by President Bush, without ceremony, on December 18 as Public Law No. 107-89.

Its original co-sponsors in the House were:[3]

Each year, since 2009, President Barack Obama has proclaimed (by presidential proclamation) the day "Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance," in reference to both Public Laws 107-89 and 111-13 (the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act).[5][6][7][8][9]


In Washington, D.C., three American flags fly at half-staff on Columbus Circle (outside of Union Station) on Patriot Day 2013. The flags of several U.S. states and territories can be seen also flying at half-staff in the background.

By presidential decree, the American flag is flown at half-staff at the White House and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments throughout the world; flags are also encouraged to be displayed on individual American homes. Additionally, a moment of silence is observed to correspond with the attacks, beginning at 8:46 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time), the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The Corporation for National and Community Service is available as a clearing house for volunteer for service opportunities.

Because Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, schools and business do not close in observance of the occasion, although memorial ceremonies for the victims are held.


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