SOURCE: Dignity Memorial

Dignity Memorial

August 24, 2011 10:39 ET

Dignity Memorial Survey Shows Four in 10 Americans Say They Won't Observe 9/11 Anniversary

Country Expresses Optimism and Resilience Yet Is Divided on 9/11 as National Holiday

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - Aug 24, 2011) - Nearly a decade after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, 45 percent of Americans either won't or aren't certain that they will observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to a national survey on grief and remembrance. Among those who do plan to mark the milestone anniversary, nearly 70 percent say they will do so through quiet reflection, without pomp and circumstance. The poll of 1000+ Americans was commissioned by the Dignity Memorial network, the nation's largest provider of funeral, memorialization and grief support services.

Importantly, the Dignity Memorial survey shows that many Americans describe themselves as "hopeful" (32 percent), or "resilient" (22 percent), a decade after 9/11. Yet, 16 percent of respondents still say they are "sorrowful" or "grieved."

"Ten years later, the story is one of remarkable resilience," comments Lisa Marshall of Dignity Memorial. "Grief experts tell us that the healing process is different for everyone, yet the overall mood today about 9/11 is one of healing." To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Dignity Memorial locations nationwide will be hosting or sponsoring remembrance events. More information is available on the Web at, which features a 9/11 guestbook and content.

Individuals affected by the trauma of 9/11 say they were helped most by quiet reflection and praying (each representing 20 percent of respondents), followed closely by the simple passage of time (19 percent) and the comfort provided by other people (17 percent).

9/11 a National Holiday?
According to the Dignity Memorial survey, the country is sharply divided about whether Sept. 11 should be recognized as a national holiday. While half of Americans (51 percent) favor the creation of a federal holiday, those who do not (49 percent) believe there are already appropriate ways to observe the day. Comments range from "do not want to celebrate terrorism" to "it is personal for those affected by the tragedy and should continue to be private."

Coming to terms with grief: Simple listening trumps advice
Nearly one-quarter of survey respondents say they have had to explain 9/11 or another traumatic event to their child, with the majority saying they feel it's best to consider such events as "teachable moments" (53 percent), and over 30 percent say age-appropriate reading materials are helpful.

When asked about occasions of personal grieving (not related to 9/11), one in four say they were helped most by conversations with family members, friends or clergy. But, the ability to listen versus doling out counsel may be the most healing. Nearly a quarter of those who have grieved the loss of a close friend or family member say advice from others is least helpful during that time. Though respondents repeatedly cited personal support systems during times of traumatic loss or grief, nearly one in four say they have not been helped by community during times of need.

Communities adopt educational tools
To provide local communities with tools and resources to work through traumatic events, Dignity Memorial will introduce an innovative national Community Grief Training Workshop module designed to help our nation's communities identify personal and community healing strategies in the aftermath of loss.

The workshop will use a screening of "REBIRTH," an award-winning documentary film about 9/11, as an educational and communication tool to address traumatic loss. More information will be available on

*The phone survey, conducted by Toluna PLC, assessed the opinions and attitudes of 1,044 adults over 18.

About the Dignity Memorial network
The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America's most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information, visit

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