In honor of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and National Day of Service, Operation Gratitude welcomes grateful Americans to express their appreciation for the service and sacrifice of first responders, service members, and Veterans through our digital letter writing campaign. Challenge America’s, CAVARTS community for Veteran artists has created the moving visual art and poetry for this campaign.


By Jason Turner

Meaning: This piece was completed in remembrance of the personal loss of my brother, as well as my brothers and sisters in arms and friends lost while serving during 9/11 and after. Their memories continue to flood my thoughts. I wanted to create an image that signified that. That period of my life will always weigh heavily on me. However, there’s always someone thinking about you, and they have your 6.

9/11 Sonnet

By Douglas W. Johnson

Meaning: We disagreed, and still disagree, whether being overseas had any point. We never disagreed on whether our sacrifices, and those who went before us, had meaning.

The words we use sound so cliche, so trite, but the deeds that we try to describe are so poignant and fraught with emotion that we keep seeking ways to make the words evoke the memory of the day we beheld the heroic humans. We are not all called to greatness, but we can all live so that one day it may be said of us, “This, too, was humanity.” The heroes of 9/11 led the way for the heroes of OIF and OEF who followed.

Help us reach our goal of
200,000 digital letters!