Happy Birthday!

Hi! My name is Dahlia. Since my tenth birthday became a day of national tragedy, I have grown to accept that my special day will never be the same. I designed this website several months after the attacks to remember the good that was born on this day and to see what good we can do since we have this shared birthday. Over the years, this website has transformed into so much more for me. It has become a method for me to correspond with others who share my birthday, and has given me insight into how others have dealt with the change. But more importantly, reading the e-mails and feeling a connection with the writers has enabled me to realize that I am not alone. 

One of the themes of this website is "celebrating the goodness born on a tragic date." This year, the Remembrance Rescue Project published a post that recognizes the duality of the day - the need to commemorate all those who were lost and the need to appreciate the heroic acts that came on that day: "Tomorrow is the 12th Anniversary of the largest and most successful rescue effort in history. It is estimated that anywhere from 10,000 to 14,000 people were successfully rescued and removed from the World Trade Center Towers prior to their catastrophic collapse. The collapse of the twin towers killed 2,977 innocent people, including 343 firefighters, 23 Police Officers, 37 Port Authority, who went in the buildings to rescue more people and to put out the fires. Please take a moment to remember each of those 2,977 innocent lives that were lost, especially the firefighters, Police Officers, Paramedics and Port Authority . But also take a moment to rejoice the 10,00 to 14,000 lives that were saved by fire and police officers that responded to the attacks 12 years ago."

I will never understand why September 11 was chosen, nor will I ever understand why evil happens to innocent people. However, on this twelfth anniversary of the attacks, I would like to thank everybody that has written to me and wish you all a very happy birthday. You have brought this website to levels beyond my expectations, and I truly appreciate everything. As one man wrote, it is so amazing for me to know that there are other people born on September 11 who "not only share a day, but share a dream." Thank you for the continued responses and happy birthday!

Let's reclaim our day for good! Help a friend, give to charity, do something nice in your community. Send an email message to me at GoodDeeds@birthdayspirit.org describing what you did. I'll accumulate and post many of your good deeds here, as a sign to all of the goodness born on this day!

Advice and Ideas. Is your birthday, or that of a child or friend, on September 11th? This section will contain ideas and links for people who trying to figure out how to celebrate their birthday, while being sensitive to the sad associations this day also has. If you would like to share how you marked your birthday this year, or have suggestions, please send them to Advice@birthdayspirit.org

Make a Wish...
"When I blow out the candles on my birthday cake my special wish is for love and peace throughout the world. This is a time for people everywhere to think positive thoughts and not to dwell on the negative. We can change the world if we all remember that we are truly a spark from the same original source regardless of what religion/God/infinite wisdom we are accustomed to believe in."

Light an Extra Candle
Thanks to Amanda G. for a great suggestion: Light an extra candle on your birthday cake this year in memory of those who lost their lives on this date.

Bring a Cake to your Local Firefighters
Thanks to Miriam K. for another great suggestion: Bring a birthday cake to your local fire station to show our appreciation for their work and share our birthday with them.

Impressions from others with September 11 Birthdays
"Few things bring me to tears. I didn't even cry on the day of the attacks, but this website, the acknowledgment and recognition of unity beyond the tragedy, and the generosity and perseverance of so many who can honestly share what I've felt for these eight years, and the years to come; THIS brings me the most joyous kind of tears. Thank  you for making this, my 30th birthday, the best in eight years...and my day has only just started. Thank you, and happy birthday!"

"It's nice to commiserate with someone who knows what it feels like to wake up on your day of celebration to the sound of memorial dirges on the radio or TV... Now having a place to let those thoughts out makes me get ready to celebrate my birthday."

"I was really inspired by this site... I'm so very happy I can always have someone to write to that knows what I feel about my special day"

"Thank you for this site. I have not really celebrated my birthday since the tragedy. I am constantly reminded about it every time I am asked my birth date on applications or just general conversations... If I see 9:11 on a clock, I am reminded. Bless you for allowing me a place to put my thoughts and feelings into words. I will try and plan a Happy BD for myself this year." 

"Ever since that year I've always told people 'I'm not a big birthday person' and I haven't really had a birthday party since then, but next year, on Sept. 11, I'm going to celebrate!"

"As a military member, I rarely have the opportunity to celebrate my birthday with my family. Finding this website was "eye-opening" to know that so many others felt the misery of sharing their birthdate with such a tragic event. I hope others are inspired to find the positive aspect of celebrating this special day." 

"Thank you so much for creating this site; it is so good to know that I am not alone. I have stopped celebrating my birthday because of all the negative responses from my peers and other people. Thanks to this inspiring site, I decided to celebrate my birthday this year. Thank you for your kindness and support."

"Thank you so much. It's such a comforting feeling to know that there are people out there who not only share a day, but share a dream."

When a woman went into labor on September 11, 2010, her doctor told her that this was "not the first baby I've delivered on 9/11, and the way I see it is this: something wonderful is happening on this tragic anniversary, and America needs that."

New! A New York Times article mentioning this site: 

New! WFUV Cityscape featuring Dahlia and this site (at 25:00): 

New! A Press-Enterprise article mentioning this site: 

Another New York Times article mentioning this site:
The Eleventh of Never

Any Suggestions? Do you have other ideas for this website? Would you like to share thoughts with others who share our birthday and understand the mixed feelings that are involved? Please send them to Dahlia@BirthdaySpirit.org and I will post many of them here.

Remember: Over one million people share this birthday with us. So enjoy and think of the good that was born on our birthday! :-)

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