Thomas Howard was born on 9/11 and spent his birthday volunteering to commemorate the day.
“My first memory [learning about 9/11] was probably in first grade, and my teacher told me I was born on [9/11], and I was like, it’s my birthday,” he stated. “And she was like oh no, it’s so much more.”
Roughly 13,00 children in the U.S. were born on September 11, 2001. Howard was born at 4:14 in Chicago, IL, hours before two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center. This year he and his parents joined more than 4,000 volunteers to pack meals at the Intrepid Museum in NYC.
Howard says he searched for years to find a positive way to celebrate his birthday while recognizing those impacted by the attacks. Four years ago, he started working with 9/11 Day, an organization that pays tribute to victims of the attack through service.
“I always feel like, if I was born on that day, even when sad things happen, there’s always, like, happy and, like, exciting things to come out of it,” he explained. “Like, I was born on 9/11, so I brought happiness back into my family and to my friends.”
Organizers said 100,000 of the meals will be sent to Hurricane Dorian victims.