In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, President George W. Bush, proclaimed Friday September 14, 2001, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.
A bill to make September 11 a national day of mourning was introduced in the U.S. House on October 25, 2001, by Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) with 22 co-sponsors, among them eleven Democrats and eleven Republicans. The bill requested that the President designate September 11 of each year as Patriot Day. Joint Resolution 71 passed the House by a vote of 407–0, with 25 members not voting. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on November 30. President Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18. On September 4, 2002, President Bush used the authority of the resolution to proclaim September 11, 2002, as the first Patriot Day.