Matthew Crawford’s father, Robert James Crawford was a firefighter with the FDNY Safety Battalion. Before he started volunteering as a guide for the 9/11 Tribute Center, Matthew had never visited the 9/11 Memorial. “I’m not an anniversary person,” he explains. “Every year, on 9/11, I’ll go off by myself, hike, fish and commune with my father.”
Since becoming a Tribute guide, Matt’s on the Memorial Plaza six times a month, sharing his story about his father’s life and courageous and compassionate response to the tragedy.
“I’d volunteer more often each month if I could,” he says, “but six a month, that’s the limit.” Matt never expected that volunteering for Tribute would become such a meaningful and rewarding part of his life.
“I was apprehensive at first, but I see how interested visitors are to learn about 9/11. The more tours give, the more I get back in return.” When Matthew shares his story, he feels a bond with visitors; “I see the expression on their faces, the look in their eyes, and I know they won’t forget.”
Matthew is involved with the construction of the transit hub at the World Trade Center site. So, as he’s helping us move us into the future, he’s also helping us remember the past.