Civic engagement can take a variety of forms: volunteering, voting in elections and expression of one’s opinion on public issues, for example.
They’re all examples of a sense of responsibility to uphold obligations or make a positive impact in one’s community.
We saw that locally recently with two events tied to the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
Central Middle School students placed 2,977 miniature U.S. flags on the Columbus City Hall front lawn on Sept. 8 in advance of a Sept. 11 ceremony that honored those who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the crew and passengers of Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Each flag represented a victim of the 9/11 tragedy that occurred 15 years ago.
The project started in 2014 and has become a tradition and learning experience that connects the students to an important moment in American history that should be remembered.
Also, the United Way Day of Service campaign has become a way for adults to show compassion to others, with more than 1,000 volunteers participating in each of the first three years, which also began in 2014.
Local residents who need a helping hand got plenty of help with tasks as volunteers cleaned up yards, repaired properties and painted — tackling more than 80 projects Sept. 9. Some volunteers even went door to door in one area of the city handing out free smoke detectors.
The national United Way Day of Service was created as a way to honor the memory of first responders who died on 9/11.
Such efforts have turned a national tragedy into a day of pride across America, including Columbus.