This newfound nationalism and awareness of public safety touched every corner of the United States, from the millions of flags that adorned local front porches, to the rush of new grants and programs that both honored our fallen 9/11 heroes, and took steps to ensure our country was safe and secure.
Thirteen years later, a number of these grants are still available for individuals, community and local groups, and state agencies, ensuring that while daily life has more or less returned to normal, Americans still honor their collective promise to never forget.
The most important grants in the minds of most Americans are the federal funds and projects that address the 9/11 victims and their survivors. In the 9/11 aftermath, US citizens showed both their gratitude and their generous hearts by donating millions of dollars to various September 11th funds, and federal grants are still present and available to the public to ensure that the victims are never forgotten.
The 9/11 Heroes Stamp Program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, provides funds and assistance to personnel who were disabled or who lost family members during the attacks, and doles out much-appreciated monetary awards from proceeds of the Hero postal stamp sales. Former US Military can also benefit from the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance, a federal grant program designed to help servicemen and women return to civilian life via access to educational opportunities and financial assistance. These types of grants often extend to family members as well, and are typically reserved for citizens who are eligible for aid under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Of course, 9/11 changed the face of homeland security as well, (and even introduced the term "homeland security" to the American lexicon), so that such a horrific act would never be repeated. As a result, there are a portfolio of federal grants to assist states, communities, and local organizations in their efforts to stay safe and remain readily prepared. Programs like the Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Grant allow state, tribal, local and even campus law enforcement agencies access to advanced training programs, while similar ongoing federal programs, like the Homeland Security Grant Program, offers specialized training in the realm of risks and scenarios associated with potential terrorist attacks.
Individuals and non-profit groups can also look into grants for envisioning and implementing innovations in the relatively new arena of homeland security, via award grants like the Homeland Security Award. This ongoing competition provides funds to citizens and companies that research and / or contribute to the ever-changing goal of effectively protecting American soil.
Even remembrance ceremonies that pay homage to 9/11 and other American landmarks can benefit from a federal grant, such as the Volunteer Generation Fund, an award-based grant that ensures that organizers of said events are able to recruit quality volunteers for assignments related to the 9-11 Day of Service and Remembrance, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and other essential days that honor American sacrifice.
Looking back, 9/11 was clearly one of the darkest days in American History, but the silver lining was an outpouring of appreciation for our civil servants, and a newfound attention to ensuring our country remains safe from the threat of terrorist attacks. Considering that the majority of federal grants that were initiated after the 9/11 attacks are still prevalent, utilized, and available to organizations and individuals alike, it's clear that Americans have not forgotten, and will continue to honor the heroes that instilled that post-9/11 sense of genuine American pride.