Children born on 9/11 spread message of hope on anniversary of attacks

A touching video featuring children who were born on September 11, 2001 is asking people to give back and do good deeds in observance of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (9/11 Day/YouTube)

Over 13,000 children were born on September 11, 2001. Now those kids are asking people to do one good deed on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Hillary O'Neill was born at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut the same day as the 9/11 attacks. In a video produced by the organization 9/11 Day, the 14-year-old reflects on how Sept. 11 has affected her life and how she can reflect on her birthday with hope.

"It started to become a part of who I am," Hillary said. "I would hope it can become a day people can look at and they can realize how much things have changed and how the world in general has grown. How things can transform."

Hillary states her desire for other people to give back on Sept. 11.

"We all do good deeds on 9/11. Doing something good makes me feel good as well. It makes me realize I have the power to change things and that there's really nothing stopping me," she said.

Anish Shrivastava was also born on Sept. 11. He usually celebrates his birthday the following weekend, but he shares Hillary's positive vision for what the day could become.

"In spite of all the terrorist actions, hope was born that day," Anish told the New York Daily News.

The 9/11 Day organization is a grassroots effort founded in 2002 by native New Yorkers Jay Winuk and David Paine that encourages people to observe 9/11 by performing charitable acts or good deeds. Paine and Winuk were concerned about how 9/11 would be remembered by those who couldn't comprehend it at the time or weren't even born yet.

This year, the two asked for teens who were born on that day to share their stories.

"We were confident that, even though many younger people remember very little about 9/11 or nothing at all, they'd still intuitively understand and embrace the notion of 9/11 being a day dedicated to making the world a better place," Paine said in a Facebook post.

The powerful video has resonated across social media, with many sharing their own stories about Sept. 11 and children who were born that day.

"My son was also born on 9/11/01 at 12:10 a.m. My husband and I watched the events unfold that day while watching tv in our hospital room. My son is a bright light (as described by one of his teachers). He is always smiling, always happy, always giving and considerate of others," commented one Facebook user.

Another Facebook user commented with the following: "These children were a promise that amidst all of the death and destruction that Life would win over death and we would go on. It wasn't the was the beginning."
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