As many Americans reflect on the events of September 11, with the upcoming the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks, MTV parent company Viacom has teamed with artists including [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist], [artist id="1000"]Nas[/artist], DJ Pauly D, Julianne Hough and Drake Bell to launch a national day of service campaign that asks, “What will you do to remember?”
Gaga, a native New Yorker, recently remembered where she was and what she was doing when it all happened. “On September 11, I was at school with my girlfriends,” she recalled of the day that forever changed her home city.
“I just remember that the history teachers had us all piled into one room and had a television on and none of us believed it was happening,” she continued. “So we didn’t believe it, so we ran up to the roof and I just remember we got up to the roof, and one tower had already fallen and we all watched the second tower fall all together.”
While Gaga was not anywhere near the actual site of the attack in downtown Manhattan, her mother was near it. “I don’t know; you really can’t describe something like that,” she said. “It’s too horrific. We were in disbelief. I still think sometimes I’m in disbelief.
“My dad picked us up, we couldn’t reach my mom for a long time because she worked right across the street,” she continued. “We were really nervous and I just remember all we saw were these young men, really young. You could tell they worked on the floor at the stock and they were in their jackets and they were just covered in ashes and all you could see was the lines from the tears on their face. [My school] was miles and miles away, but the sky that hovered above us was jet black.”
Through Sunday, Viacom’s networks will air specially produced “I Will” public service announcements featuring artists and actors, including Gaga, Fran Drescher, Pauly D, Nas, Hough and Bell, along with Viacom employees.
The multiplatform public service campaign is designed to inspire Americans to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks by committing to good deeds, charity or volunteer service. Working with MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network, organizers of this year’s September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, the “I Will” campaign asks participants, “Ten years later, what will you do to remember?”
“Every year on September 11 with my family, we take a moment together and acknowledge a tremendous loss in our city and in the world,” Gaga said. “I remember so many friends that lost family and so many people that lives were changed forever.
“It’s a moment to honor New York,” she continued. “It’s a moment to come together and realize that New York really is forever changed and will always now be a family.”
What will you do to remember 9/11? Share your thoughts below, and visit 911day.org to upload your video response.