My newest Netflix obsession is the Aaron Sorkin show The Newsroom. We’ve just started watching it, waiting patiently for the discs to arrive in the mail, trying not to watch an entire disc in one night so we can savor the joy that is an Aaron Sorkin show.
In any event, last night we watched an episode from Season 1, “5/1”. The coverage by the fictional news station ACN, highlights President Obama’s announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by US Special Forces. The show goes on to let us in on how the United Airlines crew and the officers of the NYPD are told about the announcement. It was quite moving and brought back so many memories for me.
On 9/11 I was working as the director of an AmeriCorps project in Providence. For those of you unfamiliar with AmeriCorps it is often referred to as the domestic Peace Corps. In my case it was 35 people ranging in age, that year, from19 to 42 years old. They were: men and women, high school educated, college educated, Columbian, Guatemalan, Cape Verdean, Liberian, Cambodian, American, black, white, Asian, physically challenged, able-bodied, mothers, fathers, children, funny, smart, willing and committed, to the year of service that they each signed up to complete.
Only two weeks into their year of service 9/11 happened. Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard, so there’s no need to revisit that here. What does merit revisiting is the courage and strength and commitment this group of 35 exhibited, not just that day or the few days following. They were steadfast in exceeding the terms of their service with more hours served, more community service projects completed, and finally, in their support to each other.
AmeriCorps members, at least the ones I’ve been privileged to know, and in particular the year of 9/11; show a commitment and determination to bettering their communities and to serving those who are most in need.
There is Daisy Zamora poem I learned that year that I think best describes and says thank you, to these, and all AmeriCorps members since, for their service!
Precisely because I do not have
the beautiful words I need
I call upon my acts
to speak to you.
AmeriCorps Team RI Children’s Crusade 2001-02