Military Veterans, First Responders, 9/11 Family Members, General Public to Gather Today in Times Square to Unveil 30-Foot-Long "I Will" Sculpture, Make Personal Pledges to Pay Tribute and Remember Through Service to Others
NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thousands of people will gather throughout the day in Times Square, NYC today – along with countless others throughout social media -- to participate in the launch of this year's inspiring 9/11 Day "I Will" campaign (http://911day.org), which seeks to encourage millions of people around the nation and world to annually observe 9/11 by performing good deeds and other charitable service.
The 9/11 Day Observance was founded by the nonprofit MyGoodDeed in 2003 to establish a permanent and positive way to annually remember the 9/11 victims and those that rose in service in the aftermath of the attacks. The U.S. Congress joined with President Barack Obama to pass bipartisan legislation in 2009, formally recognizing September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law. Last year, for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, more than 33 million people from all 50 states and nations throughout the world dedicated time to helping others in need, transforming September 11 into the largest annual day of charitable activity in the United States.
"What began as a simple but powerful idea 10 years ago in the wake of our national tragedy has grown into an extraordinarily meaningful, forward-looking global observance in honor of those lost," said MyGoodDeed Executive Vice President Jay S. Winuk, who co-founded 9/11 Day with David Paine, a friend and former colleague, shortly after the attacks. "9/11 Day is truly making a difference for people and communities in need, not only in this country but around the world, and we are grateful to all the millions who participate each year." Mr. Winuk's brother, attorney and volunteer firefighter/EMT Glenn J. Winuk, died in the line of duty on 9/11.
Making Your "I Will" Pledge"
In Times Square today, 9/11 family members, military veterans, rescue and recovery workers, New Yorkers, and visitors to the city will join together at the "crossroads of the world" to witness the unveiling of a 30-foot-long "I Will" sculpture, part of the 9/11 Day award-winning "I Will" public service campaign that asks, "What will you do for 9/11?" Attendees of all ages will take turns standing on the sculpture and declaring what good deeds they "will" perform this year (their "I will" pledges) in observance of 9/11. Participating in the event are representatives from The Mission Continues, Pat Tillman Foundation, and Got Your 6. Images of those tributes will be filmed for use in PSA and social media campaigns and beamed using Aerva technology to giant digital Clear Channel and American Eagle billboards in Times Square. Many of these images also will be posted at 911day.org, and shared through social media. Those around the nation and world also can participate through social media, by emailing their good deeds (to be articulated in the subject line of their emails) and images to [email protected], or by posting their good deed plans on Twitter using the hashtag #911day. Organizers may select some of these I Will pledges and project them on the billboards.
Other important elements of 9/11 Day announced today are:
- Millions of dollars in television, radio, print and digital advertising has been donated to support the campaign, including from virtually all major networks, Viacom, Clear Channel, AOL and many other media partners. Many prominent individuals will appear in this campaign, or be featured on the 911day.org website, including: actors Samuel Jackson, Julianna Margulies, and Terence Howard; Dr. Oz; and Victor Cruz and Justin Tuck of the New York Giants, with new participants released each week leading up to 9/11.
- Prominent celebrities, businesses, nonprofits, and others will begin posting social messages of support, encouraging service and good deeds on 9/11 throughout social media, including via Facebook, Twitter and Tout, hash tag: #911day. Last year @911day became the number one trending user on Twitter worldwide.
- Large-scale volunteer service projects to be staged on 9/11 in major cities serving homeless and low-income families and veterans, engaging more than 1,000 volunteers in New York City; Washington, DC; Chicago; Los Angeles; Dallas/Fort Worth and Minneapolis. These projects will be facilitated by military veterans who are continuing their service and leadership here at home through The Mission Continues' Fellowship Program. Also partnering on these events are Volunteers of America, Second Harvest Heartland and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- Launch of a new website at 911day.org, where individuals, businesses, nonprofits, schools and other organizations can post their own 9/11 plans, dedicate their service to 9/11 victims by name, and explore volunteer activities in their own communities.
- Distribution of downloadable lesson plans to one million teachers, available free of charge and developed in partnership with Scholastic and education program leaders Target and GlaxoSmithKline to help them provide forward-looking, non-threatening instruction about 9/11, and inspire students to engage in good deeds and community service in tribute this 9/11.
ABOUT MYGOODDEED AND ITS SUPPORTERS
With widespread support from the 9/11 community, the 9/11 nonprofit MyGoodDeed (911day.org) launched the 9/11 Day observance in 2003 as a lasting tribute to the 9/11 victims and all those who rose in service in response to the attacks. Today 9/11 is the nation's largest annual day of charitable service, with more than 33 million people participating last year from all 50 states and many nations throughout the world. Among the many prominent individuals who have supported the "I Will" campaign are Lady Gaga, Gary Sinise, Selena Gomez, Kevin Spacey, Demi Lovato, Tim McGraw, Kathleen Turner, Mickey Rourke, Denis Leary, Julianne Moore, Maria Shriver, Justin Tuck, Victor Cruz, Bebe Neuwirth, Ben Vereen, Mark Teixeira and many others.
In 2009, through the efforts of MyGoodDeed and the 9/11 community, the bi-partisan Serve America Act established 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with helping to support it.
Cash and in-kind funding for 9/11 Day, exceeding $15 million, has been provided by American Express, Target, GlaxoSmithKline, Clear Channel, NFL Charities, NYSE Euronext, Viacom, AOL, Benjamin Moore Paint, 9/11 Memorial, Corporation for National and Community Service, Holland & Knight, Cantor Fitzgerald, Aerva, The Broadway League, Times Square Alliance, Creative Artists Agency, Sunshine Sachs, SNS Staging Inc., American Eagle and others.
To donate $5.00 to the nonprofit 9/11 Day Observance, text DEED to 85944, or visit 911day.org for more information.
DETAILS ABOUT TIMES SQUARE EVENT
WHERE: Times Square Plaza, just north of 44 Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue, Manhattan, NY
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Media photo and interview opportunity: 9:00 AM – NOON ET, or by appointment.
Sculpture on display and available to the public: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET
Clear Channel billboard will be active from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM ET
American Eagle billboard will be active from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM ET
** Broadcast quality b-roll available upon request **