On September 11, 2015, I was in New York City. I walked around the city and remembered how I had been in NYC on September 11, 2001. I was grateful that my family and I were okay on that day years ago and now.
The travel company I was working for in 2001 went bankrupt within two weeks of September 11 and while I lost my job, I was grateful as things could have been worse.
As I begin the ninth travel writing contest on We Said Go Travel, I am truly grateful for all the amazing support for the website and for me. Thank you for your support and participation. It has been truly a gift.
I hope you will consider sharing one of your stories in the current contest. In honor of September 11, I want to share about an incredible story that happened that day and about people who share hope all year long and were recognized on World Humanitarian Day.
10,500 passengers from diverted flights were in Gander, Canada on September 11, 2001. One flight decided to honor how they had been cared for by the people of Gander and started a “trust fund now at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education…I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them. It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”
World Humanitarian Day is a day to recognize the work done by humanitarian workers around the world and an opportunity to remember those who have given their lives in the service of humanitarian causes. #ShareHumanity is a global digital storytelling campaign designed by the United Nations and partners to mark World Humanitarian Day 2015. See some of the tweets by United Nations as well as Richard Branson, Cody Simpson and Shay Mitchell.
“We’re calling on the young and digitally-connected to help us push out these compelling stories and give a voice to the voiceless,” said Stephen O’Brien, UN Humanitarian Chief. “Young people often ask me what they can do to help and I believe we have a shared responsibility to raise awareness and help to inspire humanity on these global issues.”
The #ShareHumanity campaign hopes to build momentum towards the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, set to take place in Istanbul next May, where heads of state, business leaders, civil society representatives, humanitarian workers and ordinary people will set in motion an agenda to better respond to and reach the tens of millions of people around the world facing life-threatening crises.
August 19 marks the anniversary of the 2003 United Nations Headquarters bombing in Baghdad that claimed the lives of 22 people. In an effort to raise awareness of humanitarian assistance worldwide – and the people who risk their lives to provide it – the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day.
United Nations and partners reported that more than half a billion Facebook and Twitter feeds participated in this show of support. “On this World Humanitarian Day, I urge everyone to show solidarity as global citizens by signing up to the #ShareHumanity campaign,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at a special event on the eve of World Humanitarian Day. “By donating your social media feeds for just one day you can promote humanitarian action and help to give a voice to the voiceless by sharing their stories of crisis, hope and resilience.”
Choose to share your story. One person can make a difference and start a scholarship in Gander or tweet about World Humanitarian Day or enter the Gratitude Travel Writing Contest. Just begin today.