MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- More than 4,000 volunteers packed meals for families in need at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Monday.
In all, 20,000 volunteers across 18 cities packed 6.5 million meals as part of 9/11 Day.
"I think we were hopeful, but we could never have imagined it would turn into something like this," said David Paine, co-founder of 9/11 Day. "This is something beyond our imagination, now that it's all across the nation."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, along with NFL and ESPN employees, took part.
"You know there are people out there in need. For us to be able to contribute to those who are in need and have an impact... that's what we do," Goodell said. "I think we've made every single one."
New York City Mayor Eric Adams was in attendance Monday as well.
"We have an obligation that if we are part of city and this country, then we need to take a day and do a day of service," Adams said.
That same sense of obligation prompted Jay Winuk and David Pain to create 9/11 Day.
"Remembering the way people lifted this nation back up by putting aside our differences and just bringing it together as one American family... If you're old enough, you'll never forget that of phenomena of 9/12 moving forward," Winuk said. "That was the initial genesis of this whole idea more than 20 years ago."
Designating 9/11 as a day of service invites people to turn their pain into purpose.
"To see all these people here, ESPN employees, Disney employees, NFL employees, it fills me with pride. It fills me with gratitude," said Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN Chairman.
ESPN is owned by the same parent company as WABC-TV.
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