Hillary O’Neill’s 9/11 Birthday: The Sequel

Earlier this week, “06880” told the remarkable tale of Hillary O’Neill. The Staples High School freshman — born on September 11, 2001 — has become the face of 911Day.org, a national effort led by the 13,000 boys and girls who turn 14 today. They hope to inspire everyone else to make this a day of not only remembrance, but service to others.

Yesterday, Hillary was interviewed for People Magazine’s TV show. Looking and sounding as poised as a pro, the 9th grader noted that when she was younger, her parents did not know how — or even if — to celebrate her birthday.

Hillary O'Neill

Over the years, she said, she’s learned to embrace her birthday. She’s learned an important lesson from it — to live life to the fullest, because it is precious — and she’s proud to be able to inspire others.

So how else is Hillary spending today?

This morning, she rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Hillary O'Neill (front row, far left) and other 14-year-olds born on September 11, 2001, at the New York Stock Exchange this morning.

Hillary O’Neill (front row, far left) and other 14-year-olds born on September 11, 2001, at the New York Stock Exchange this morning.

And then — because a volunteer’s work is never done — Hillary helped out with City Harvest, New York’s great feed-the-hungry group. She packed apples with another volunteer. Guy named Kevin Bacon.

Hillary O'Neill with Kevin Bacon

To see Hillary’s interview with People Magazine, click here.

3 responses to “Hillary O’Neill’s 9/11 Birthday: The Sequel

  1. Happy Birthday Hillary! It was a beautiful day the day you were born. Your father is one of the finest teachers in our school system. He was my daughter’s favorite. I see he has taught you well too. I am turning on the television to watch you ring the bell – how exciting! Hopefully, I will do something today for someone else that might bring joy.
    Warmest wishes,
    Lou Mall

  2. Hillary-happy birthday. While we each deal with the tragedy of the event, it is even better to celebrate life and to celebrate your birthday. How wonderful.

    Enjoy the bell and again, happy birthday!!!!

  3. I was fortunate to meet and bag apples alongside Hillary at City Harvest on 9/11. 9/11Day.org was co-founded by my brother, David Paine ( in white t-shirt in above picture ) in 2002, and as a founding board member, I have participated every year in volunteer projects to honor the victims, heroes and first responders. I am proud to be a part of this organization and was honored to meet and chat with Hillary and her family. She is a delightful and poised young lady. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HILLARY, and thank you for allowing us all to share in your special day.