September observances for schools (one required)

Three important observances and recognition days occur in September, one of them required by federal law. This is to remind teachers, administrators and others of these important learning opportunities and to share some suggested resources.

Maine Week of Heroes: Sunday, Sept. 9 through Saturday, Sept. 15.
Title 1 §146 Maine Week of Heroes reads, “Each political subdivision and school administrative unit is encouraged to observe a Maine Week of Heroes during the week, commencing on a Sunday and ending on the next following Saturday, within which September 11th occurs. The observance may include public proclamations, appropriate ceremonies and the introduction of curricula in school systems recognizing the efforts of heroic people in Maine communities, such as active duty military personnel, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, law enforcement officers, members of the National Guard, members of the United States Coast Guard, United States military veterans and all other heroes who have given their courageous service without regard for their own lives or personal safety to benefit the people of this great land and to serve the needs of the citizens of the State.”

Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance: Tuesday, Sept. 11.  
Patriot Day was designated by joint resolution of the U.S. Congress (PL 107-89) on December 18, 2001, to honor those who perished in the events of September 11, 2001.  By Public Law (111-13), adopted April 21, 2009, Congress has requested September 11 also be recognized as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Constitution Day: Monday, Sept. 17.
The U.S. Congress established Constitution Day in 2004 to recognize the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Under the law, all educational institutions receiving federal funding must observe Constitution Day with an “educational program on the United States Constitution.”

Prisoner of War – Missing in Action Recognition Day: Friday, Sept. 21.
Title 1 §136 designates the third Friday in September as Prisoner of War – Missing in Action Recognition Day. The day encourages “remembrance of the courage and plight of American prisoners of war and those missing in action.”

Resources for all of these observances may be found on the Department’s Social Studies webpage.

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