In the United States, Patriot Day, observed as the National Day of Service and Remembrance, occurs on September 11 of each year in memory of the 2,977 people killed in the 2001 September 11 attacks.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, President George W. Bush, proclaimed Friday September 14, 2001, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.
A bill to make September 11 a national day of mourning was introduced in the U.S. House on October 25, 2001, by Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) with 22 co-sponsors, among them eleven Democrats and eleven Republicans. The bill requested that the President designate September 11 of each year as Patriot Day. Joint Resolution 71 passed the House by a vote of 407–0, with 25 members not voting. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on November 30. President Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18 as Pub.L. 107–89. On September 4, 2002, Bush used the authority of the resolution to proclaim September 11, 2002, as the first Patriot Day.
In observance of Pub.L. 111–13, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, each year since 2009 President Barack Obama has (by presidential proclamation) designated September 11 as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Patriot Day is not a federal holiday; schools and businesses remain open in observance of the occasion, although memorial ceremonies for the victims are often held.
On this day, it is asked by the President, that the American flag be flown at half-staff at individual American homes, at the White House and on all United States government buildings and establishments at home and abroad. The President has also asked Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 A.M.(Eastern Daylight Time), the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He also strongly encourages Americans to use the Corporation for National and Community Service to find and volunteer for service opportunities.