One day in August as I was researching some content for the foundation, I ran across a video about a minute of silence in Warsaw Poland. Every August 1st at 5:00 pm, sirens are heard throughout the entire city of Warsaw, Poland. People stop what they are doing and cars come to halt to honor the people lost their lives in the Warsaw Uprising, a 63-day struggle against the Nazis which began on August 1, 1944.
This video inspired me to bring an idea to our foundation. What if we organized a minute of silence movement in Omaha to remember the tragedy of 9/11? No organized effort to remember 9/11 was occurring in Omaha and it had been 13 years since that day.
As soon as the idea was proposed, our members were on board. With a lot of hard work and dedication from our members we pulled it off with just three weeks of planning! On Sept. 11, 2014 at 9:11 am at Memorial Park, Mayor Jean Stothert proclaimed that date and time to be the official annual minute of silence for the City of Omaha. Our first ever “Minute of Silence” remembrance ceremony was created!
Children from area schools participated, local leaders and dignitaries were in attendance, local first responders and citizens from the Omaha area showed up not only to pay their respects to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, but to also show their respect for our local first responders. After the minute of silence was over, area church bells rang out to honor our current first responders for their service and dedication.
The First Responders Foundation will continue to sponsor the Citywide Minute of Silence event in hopes that no one ever forgets the tragedy that happened on Sept. 11 and to make sure that we appreciate the first responders who currently put their lives on the line for our safety. Maybe one day in the near future, we will be like Warsaw where an entire city remembers how strong and resilient our country is.