The last two years have been a period of discovery and excitement as the mission and challenge of The 9:57 Project has become apparent. The initial field trip in 2014 of high school students and combat veterans to the hallowed ground of the Flight 93 Memorial, where forty brave heroes gave their lives to save thousands of others, validated a powerful civic concept, that memory and courage are dynamic forces that can inform and inspire all generations.
When the passengers of Flight 93 chose to act at 9:57 AM on September 11, 2001, they provided an enduring model of love and strength. The challenge for The 9:57 Project is to take up where those forty left off. We owe nothing less to their families and our fellow countrymen. We must consider each day as a gift, to be spent on loved ones, and to build a historical memory which celebrates freedom and care for our neighbor.
Many of the veterans involved in The 9:57 Project know all too well the fragile nature of this freedom. Just as we lost citizens on September 11th, we have lost friends and time to battle. May The 9:57 Project honor our friends’ memory too, and provide an everlasting testament to their sacrifice and strength. May it also provide an educational platform where veterans’ firsthand knowledge of history, leadership and resilience provide valuable example to future citizens and leaders.
We have made powerful new memories, it is no overstatement to say we have changed lives. We have taken what was meant to harm our country and found a way to use it for good. In the coming year, we will expand our efforts by combining new corporate structures and the experiences of our great educators, students, and veterans into a vessel for service which reaches into communities and schools far and wide. As we prepare for the future of The 9:57 Project, we will not sacrifice growth for excellence. We will work diligently to expand our Project with as many students and veterans as we can, with a focus on good stewardship.
Thank you for the opportunity to work together in this mission to encourage the future by remembering the past. Every action we take, every word we speak, and even every memory we evoke has the potential to impact the future course of one student’s life, and therefore the future of our country. It is an honor to be on this mission with you.
Chairman and Co-Founder, The 9:57 Project