As the fifth anniversary of 9-11 approaches there will be a large variety of memorial services, Freedom walks and remembrance ceremonies throughout the nation as we once again come to grips with the loss of so many of our citizens in such a dramatic way. This year the blogosphere community has united to express its sorrow and participate in the nation’s mourning as only the blogosphere can.
Over three thousand bloggers have now joined the online project 2996: A Tribute to the Victims of 9-11 to give each victim of that day an individual tribute in their honor. Starting as just a vision of one person, this project exploded and has resulted in the largest online collaborative effort in blogging history. Each blogger has been assigned a random victim to write a tribute for and all will be published throughout the web on September 11th.
From the homepage of 2996: A Tribute to the Victims of 9-11:
The 2,996 Project
The idea is simple, but powerful: have a special tribute for each victim of 9/11, with each tribute being created by a different blogger. We started 2,996 Project to coordinate the creation of the tributes, and that's what this site is all about. Here you can sign up to make a tribute yourself, on your blog (we'll randomly assign a victim to you). You can also browse or search through either the victims that have already been assigned or those that have not -- and you can get pointers to more information on all of them.
A message from the guy who started it all...
For each of us something different about 9/11 brought the tragedy into focus. For me it was the sympathy and grief that poured in from overseas.
I remember a story on CNN that showed a Volkswagen Plant in Germany, where each employee brought a candle and placed it in the factory's entryway. I was staggered at the scenes of foreigners openly weeping. The closing visual of thousands of candles burning on the marble floor left me speechless.
The first tears I shed for 9/11 were as I watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace later that evening. That night the Queen had the Royal Guard play the Star Spangled Banner instead of England's Anthem -- a huge crowd of expatriates and British wept outside the gates. That tribute -- a national leader, even if for just a moment, diminishing their own national identity as a show of sympathy -- was one of the bravest and most touching political acts I have witnessed. And I remember wondering, if the situation were reversed, if we would have the courage to do the same….
The variety of people participating in the project 229: A Tribute to the Victims of 9-11 is amazing. A wide spectrum of people from this great nation, and throughout the world, are represented. Bloggers from a wide variety of countries have asked to be included in the memorialization of the lives of the fallen and will be participating with their tributes. Everyone from big name bloggers to eighth graders on Myspace.com have signed up for the project. I know of at least one class that will be doing a tribute as a class project. This is one idea that completely crosses political and ideological divides and has been embraced by people of all walks of life.
The list of bloggers participating in 2996: A Tribute to the Victims of 9-11 can be viewed at http://www.jamulian.com/db911/. Though all the victims have at least one blogger honoring them you can still sign up to provide a second tribute in their honor.
I was the 1911th blogger to join the project and will be writing about Michael D. D’Auria, one of the many brave New York firefighters that responded to the twin towers call and subsequently lost his life as the towers collapsed. You may view my tribute to rookie firefighter Michael D. D’Auria at www.theinfidelsage.blogspot.com on September 11, 2006.
This is a project that deserves your attention.
I encourage you to pause on September 11th and remember the nearly three thousand souls who were killed in the ‘Pearl Harbor’ of the current War on Terror. Remember them for their lives, for their families, for the fact they died on American soil, and simply because they were fellow human beings who displayed thousands of individual acts of bravery and courage as they sought to help each other. Take the time to visit a few participating sites on September 11th and read about the extraordinary and amazing people who fell on that dark day.