Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
U.S. House Joint Resolution 71 was approved by a vote of 407-0 on October 25, 2001. It requested that the President designate September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day." President George W. Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18, 2001 (as Public Law 107-89). As such, it is not an official public holiday, but rather a discretionary day of remembrance.
On this day, the President directs that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff and displayed from individual American homes, at the White House, and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments, home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time) marking the first plane crash on September 11.
Some countries have also shared Patriot Day with the U.S. as well. For example, in Canada, the government orders flags on the Peace Tower and on all Canadian diplomatic missions in the U.S. be flown at half-staff on September 11.
Some greeting card companies have released Patriot Day cards, causing controversy among some. However, many companies, such as Hallmark, do not offer cards specifically for Patriot Day.
This designation should not be confused with Patriot's Day, a holiday that is celebrated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Maine, which was part of Massachusetts until 1820. Patriotes Day is a holiday in the Canadian province of Québec, celebrating the members of the Parti patriote who fought in the Lower Canada Rebellion.
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