Omaha Day of Remembrance

In the spirit of compassion, unity, & service observed following the terror of September 11, Metropolitan Community College will host an Omaha, Nebraska, community-wide Day of Remembrance on Monday, September 12. The day will honor those who serve our community, including those who have died in service. The event will engage over two hundred members of our Omaha community – young and old, rich and poor – in a unified voice of compassion, appreciation and community. 

A Day of Remembrance event will be held Monday, September 12, from 1:00 – 3:00pm at MCC’s South Omaha Campus.  Speakers slated to be involved with the event include current and former military service members from Army National Guard, KETV Channel 7, Offutt Air Force Base, and MCC.  Additional support for the event in the form of displays, volunteers, and recognition will come from the Bellevue Police and Fire Departments, the Omaha Philatelic Society, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, and MCC.

On the day of the event, 12,000 postcards will be sent to Nebraska service-members currently deployed in Afghanistan.  Each postcard will bear a unique, hand-written message of thanks composed by a volunteer.  These volunteers will be students and community members from MCC, Bellevue Public Schools, Omaha Public Schools, the City of Omaha, and Boys Town National Headquarters.  By dispersing the postcards among different groups in the community, we envision engaging a broad cross-section of the community in this message of appreciation.  On September 10, the Omaha Philatelic Society will convene their annual meeting at MCC’s South Omaha Campus.  At this meeting, each postcard stamp will receive a commemorative cancellation stamp designed by the club and used only on September 10 and 11.

As the only community college in Omaha, MCC is dedicated to serving not only its students but also the general public.  To that end, the Day of Remembrance event and Postcard Campaign will bring together members from the military and the community to recall the tragedy of 9/11 and those who have answered the call to serve in its wake.  The Day of Remembrance will thus consist of many small, yet significant elements, each serving as a form of commemoration: the names of those who died in the attacks and in the operations since will be displayed; a proclamation of the day as a national day of remembrance will be read; and a moment of silence will be observed.  An Honor Guard and flag folding ceremony will conclude the event.       

Volunteers will devote various amounts of time to several different areas in order to make these events successful.  Over one hundred MCC and thirty Boys Town faculty members will volunteer classroom time to inform their students of the event and allow them time to write a postcard. Four AmeriCorps VISTAs from MCC’s Service Learning Office and Office of Military and Veteran Support Services will staff booths at several events in order to generate postcards and awareness.  These VISTAs, as well as a veteran MCC student volunteer, will read through each of the postcards to filter out any inappropriate material.  

Members of the Omaha Philatelic Society will give their time to affix the commemorative cancellation stamp to each postcard.  During the event about a dozen military-related MCC faculty and staff will serve as ambassadors to welcome and seat guests.  To document the number of volunteers, a volunteer log will be kept.  At each stage of the Day of Remembrance and Postcard Campaign, names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of each volunteer will be catalogued. 

We anticipate approximately two hundred volunteers to devote significant time either to planning or execution of the Day of Remembrance and Postcard Campaign.  In devoting their time, these two hundred volunteers will connect with the 12,000 postcard writers, who, though they would not be counted as volunteers, reflect the scope of our efforts.  With the support of these volunteers and strong community engagement, this event will succeed in honoring our area service members.

To raise awareness of the Day of Remembrance and Postcard Campaign, we plan to utilize multiple promotion strategies.  MCC’s Public Affairs office will promote these events through the main MCC website, MCC’s social media presence, the MCC television station, connections to local radio, newspaper, and television affiliates, and through posters and fliers.  VISTAs will promote the event through word-of-mouth while staffing postcard booths at MCC campuses and community events.  The event also be made known to military members, political figures, and members of the community through e-mails, phone calls, and letters.  We anticipate strong community participation as we honor area service members through our first MCC-led Day of Remembrance.