By Emma L. Wells

Weekend date ideas can’t always be about romance, flowers, and fun. Some days, like September 11th, need to be spent in reflection and deference for spiritual renewal. Today marks the  anniversary of 9/11, a terrible event in American history whose repercussions still reverberate in our society 14 years later. September 11th is known as Patriot Day and is a national day of service. There are many things you and your significant other can do to mark this significant occasion.

Connect With Your Partner on This Volunteering Date Idea

Related Link: Date Idea: Take a Charity Walk

The events of September 11, 2001 were undoubtedly damaging to our country in countless ways. Today, pay homage by helping to fix some of the problems in your community. Visit your local homeless shelter or VA Hospital. Volunteer for a cause that matters to you, whether it be related to food, justice, education, the environment, or something else — as long as it’s important to you. We can’t change the events of past, but we can do something to better our future.

Take pride in your country by visiting a 9/11 or veteran’s memorial. Some cities have museum exhibits, and many places host non-denominational memorial services you can attend. You can also support the troops by working with one of the many organizations that collect cards and packages to send to soldiers overseas. You may consider signing up as volunteer for a disaster preparedness group, such as FEMA or the Red Cross. You and your partner can research and make an emergency plan together if you don’t already have one.

Another way to follow this dating advice is to watch a 9/11 documentary or read a book about the tragic day with your sweetheart. Two acclaimed films you can check out are The Second Day and Project Rebirth. Consider picking up a historical book about the events leading up to and including Patriot Day. If you are looking for a shorter read, check out A Time of Gifts by the late Stephen Jay Gould, published just days after the Twin Towers were hit. 

Related Link: Date Idea: Volunteer Your Time Together

Participating in these date idea activities with your significant other will deepen your relationship and love. Connecting over issues you both believe in will draw you together and make your partnership stronger. Seeing your partner interact with a young child, sick patient, or the elderly will give you a better understanding of their values. Before volunteering, make sure you and significant other are on the same page and have similar goals and expectations for the day.

How will you honor 9/11? Tell us below.