Patriot Day: Fact Sheet

In 2001, P.L. 107-89 designated September 11 as Patriot Day to honor the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. The law asks the President to issue a Proclamation for Patriot Day each year that directs the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff and a moment of silence be observed.

The terrorist attacks, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives, involved four civilian airplanes hijacked by 19 members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network. The first two airplanes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane struck the Pentagon. The fourth crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania (near Shanksville) after passengers tried to take control of the aircraft.

Patriot Day is not a federal holiday.

In 2009, P.L. 111-13 also designated September 11 as the “National Day of Service and Remembrance.”

This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Patriot Day observances. It contains links to CRS products, sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, presidential proclamations, and selected historical resources.

Patriot Day: Fact Sheet

Updated November 5, 2018 (R44178)

In 2001, P.L. 107-89 designated September 11 as Patriot Day to honor the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. The law asks the President to issue an annual Proclamation for Patriot Day that directs the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff and a moment of silence be observed.

The terrorist attacks, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives, involved four civilian airplanes hijacked by 19 members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network. The first two airplanes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane struck the Pentagon. The fourth crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania (near Shanksville) after passengers tried to take control of the aircraft.

Patriot Day is not a federal holiday.

In 2009, P.L. 111-13 also designated September 11 as the "National Day of Service and Remembrance."

This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Patriot Day observances. It contains links to CRS products, sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, presidential proclamations, and selected historical resources.

Legislation

P.L. 107-89. Amending Title 36, United States Code, to designate September 11 as Patriot Day, December 18, 2001

P.L. 111-13. Serve America Act, April 21, 2009

CRS Reports and Products

CRS In Focus IF10227, The September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks: Reauthorization of Health and Injury Compensation Programs, by [author name scrubbed]

CRS Report RL34726, In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), by [author name scrubbed]

Congressional Speeches

Members of Congress may make floor statements or enter Extensions of Remarks into the Congressional Record to recognize Patriot Day. The following are some recent examples that may be of assistance in preparing such statements:

Senator Charles Schumer, "Remembering September 11," remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 163 (September 11, 2017), p. S5086

Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, "15th Anniversary of September 11, 2001," remarks in the House, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 162 (September 8, 2016), p. H5205

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, "In Remembrance of the 14th Anniversary of September 11, 2001," Extension of Remarks, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 161 (September 11, 2015), pp. E1272-E1274

Senator Richard Durbin, "Remembering 9/11," remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 160 (September 11, 2014), pp. S5552-S5553

Senator Mitch McConnell, "Remembering 9/11," remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 159 (September 11, 2013), pp. S6338-S6339

Representative Ted Poe, "9-11-01—11 Years," remarks in the House, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 158 (September 11, 2012), p. H5769

Representative Rush Holt, "Remembering 9/11," Extension of Remarks, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 158 (September 11, 2012), p. E1480

Representative Joe Heck, "Reflections on September 11," remarks in the House, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157 (September 9, 2011), pp. H6037-H6040

Presidential Proclamations

Some recent proclamations commemorating Patriot Day from the Compilation of Presidential Documents include the following:

Proclamation 9782—Patriot Day, President Donald J. Trump, September 2018

Proclamation 9636—Patriot Day, President Donald J. Trump, September 2017

Proclamation 9491—Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, President Barack Obama, September 2016

Proclamation 9319—Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, President Barack Obama, September 2015

Proclamation 9165—Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, President Barack Obama, September 2014

Proclamation 9015—Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, President Barack Obama, September 2013

Proclamation 8860—Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, President Barack Obama, September 2012

Earlier Patriot Day Proclamations are available through the Federal Digital System (FDsys) on the Government Publishing Office website.

Historical Resources

Resources that provide information on the September 11 terrorist attacks include the following:

Commemorative Joint Meeting of the Congress of the United States: In Remembrance of the Victims and Heroes of September 11, 2001, held on September 6, 2002 (House Document No. 107-285). Pages 305-313 list the names of the victims of the terrorist attacks.

The 9/11 Commission Report—the report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, an independent, bipartisan commission created to prepare a complete account of the circumstances surrounding the terrorist attacks.

Important speeches commemorating 9/11

Bearing Witness to History—Descriptions of objects in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History collection that document and preserve the material record of the attacks. The objects include scanned images of newspaper and magazine covers reporting on the events. The site also includes stories of the curators who collect and maintain the objects.

National Geographic Remembering 9/11 in Pictures

September 11 Digital Archive—Uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of September 11, 2001, and its aftermath. It includes Frequently Asked Questions.

Memorials

9/11 Memorial & Museum

The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

Flight 93 National Memorial

9/11 Memorials by State (maintained by VOICES of September 11). Entries include descriptions of memorials and links to individual memorial websites. (CRS has not determined if this list is comprehensive.)

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Reference Librarian ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])