Here are three facts about Patriot Day, which is held each year on Sept. 11 to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
1. Patriot Day was first held in 2002. That year, President George W. Bush helped mark the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by proclaiming Sept. 11 as Patriot Day. Bush and his successors, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, continued this practice. To mark the occasion, presidents usually order U.S. flags flown at half-staff to honor the almost 3,000 victims of the 2001 attacks. (No proclamation has been issued this year, but the orders often are given the day before flags are to be lowered.)
2. The day isn’t a holiday. Schools and businesses remain open on Patriot Day, although many communities hold solemn memorial events. Some ceremonies include a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to mark the moment the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, struck the World Trade Center. Additionally, Patriot Day often includes opportunities for community service. From 2009-2016, the day was also known as the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
3. Don’t confuse Patriot Day with Patriots’ Day. The latter is a civic holiday that is celebrated on the third Monday in April, generally in Massachusetts. Patriots’ Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which took place in 1775 and marked the start of the Revolutionary War.