“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.” Helen Hunt Jackson
Even though some things that comes to mind in September are : Labor Day, Autumn, start of the NFL and college football season, 9/11, and the return to academic pursuits, there are many other things that take place/have taken place during this month. Do you know that the name – September – comes from the Latin word for Seven and used to be the 7th month of a 10 month year in the oldest Roman Calender? Below are twelve important events to remember. What do they share?
Labor Day - This cherished holiday is celebrated on September 1st in the USA, and honors the American labor movement, the social and economic achievements and the many contributions to society made by workers everywhere. We celebrate it to honor all who lost their lives in horrific, nightmare jobs that ignored human safety and decency; sweatshops, unsupervised factories, windowless/airless basement sewing shops. It became an official national holiday in 1887 and is celebrated with parades, picnics and BBQ gatherings. Labor Day is often associated with another key event; International Workers’ Day which also celebrates the contributions workers have made to the growth and well-being of their country.
Back to School - Typically, September is the month students in countries around the world return to school. After a long summer season of surf and sun, kids, young adults, adults and teachers return to the grind of daily school or college demands. Shopping for books/supplies is a huge part of this tradition, and the marketing efforts to attract families to buy all sorts of related products has grown.
Autumn – The first day of September welcomes the start of Autumn/Fall in the Northern hemisphere and Spring in the Southern hemisphere… It signals a change of seasons and, in my part of the world, we begin to prepare for the cooler temperatures by unpacking our fall and winter gear. Autumn heralds a beautiful change in foliage colors as lush green is transformed to warm gold, brilliant red, burnt orange, and endless shades of brown.
“We awoke one morning in September, and the world lurched on its axis.” Jeb Bush
Middle East Peace Accord – In September 1993, President Clinton championed the signing of the Middle East Peace Accord and witnessed the handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn. It was a historic moment, a ‘day of awe’, that many hoped would bring peace to a fractious region. May efforts at true peace prevail around the world…
9/11 Attacks – On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, we witnessed a series of horrific events that remain seared in our collective minds. The US came under terrorist attacks; The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon,
Flight 175, Flight 93 and Flight 77 were attacked and led to catastrophic loss of life. We all remember where we were that dreadful day and we pray that it would never happen again. Every September, we honor the spirit and the families and friends of all the people who lost their lives on that day.
National Preparedness Month – Since 9/11, the United States designated September as National Preparedness Month (NPM). During this month, Americans are encouraged to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. In times of natural disasters, acts of terror, and other emergencies, it is important to have a plan and know your community plan. Purchase a survival kit, find out what resources are offered in your area and plan ahea. If you need more information on how and what to do, visit FEMA. NPM is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security.
“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.” Henry Rollins
International Literacy Day - September 8 is the date UNESCO chose to encourage literacy globally. This year, the theme for International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Sustainable Development”. Literacy empowers people to make smart decisions on economic growth, social development and environmental integration. It helps communities to stop wasting natural resources and promote sustainable development. Literacy is not just formal education but also lifelong learning. According to a special message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, “Today, 781 million adults worldwide cannot read, write or count. Two thirds of them are women. More than 250 million children are unable to read a single sentence, even though half of them have spent four years in school. What kind of societies do we expect to build with an illiterate youth? This is not the kind of world we wish to live In.” Support Literacy in your communities. Give back!
National Hispanic Heritage Month – One of the joys of living in the USA is our exposure to people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept 15 and ends Oct 15. It celebrates the “histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.” America is not a homogeneous society; it is made up of people from other cultures, with diverse political leanings, and personal orientations. We celebrate them all and even detractors find themselves in the minority when this subject arises.
National Grandparents’ Day - Has been celebrated since 1978 and is observed on the 1st Sunday after Labor Day. This year it falls on Sept 7, 2014 and gives families a chance to connect with their elderly relatives and enjoy the connections and wisdom that comes from maintaining those ties. I’m thrilled that more countries are adding a date to officially recognize this important date. Do you celebrate it?
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