As the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack approaches, the entire nation is set to pause and mourn the losses of that day.
Many people deeply affected, but who live far from the crash sites, say they too want to do their part to help our nation heal.
A few days after the September 11th tragedy, in Parker, Colorado, little Tyler Cunningham set out on a big mission. Tyler, then 4, went door to door to collect aluminum cans, then donated the money to help the people of New York.
And now a year later, he's still collecting cans. Tyler may not fully understand what happened, but knows his work is important. "Because buildings need to be rebuilded." With help from his little brother, he's doing what he can, to deal with something even adults find it hard make sense of.
With a sewing machine, Alexis Owen’s healing comes thru a quilt. "I needed to process it in my own way, in the basement, with a sewing machine." Piece by piece, the September 11th quilt project has taken shape.
Patches of fabric with messages from around the world. "About hope and peace and love,” Alexis Owen says. “Our mission was to foster unity among people everywhere."
Alexis watched from her balcony as the World Trade Center collapsed. She left her job in New York, returned to Denver and began the quilt project. It became a way to heal others and herself.
Now it is her full time, unpaid job. "For me it means a rebirth, really." The quilt pieces create a huge American flag a third of the size of a football field, now displayed in cities around the country.
All across the nation, people are finding ways to deal with events of September 11th help mend a nation, and heal themselves. From a color guard in Colorado preparing for a memorial ceremony, to Oklahoma cowboys on horseback, traveling to sacred ground where the tragedy occurred, to new fire trucks, dozens donated to New York from Ohio, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.
Our nation is filled with people looking for ways to help, and carry the load, through kindness.