Tribute Program Open for Volunteers

Docent Gerry Bogacz tells his 9/11 story as a survivor, part of the walking tour now offered by the Tribute WTC Visitor Center.

Interested in making a difference in the lives of thousands of people? By volunteering your time as a Tribute guide you’ll have the opportunity to share your personal story of September 11, 2001 with visitors as well as offer factual information.

“The most unique part of this program is that a visitor could take this tour 25 times with 25 volunteers and each tour they would hear a different story,” Bobby Senn, a firefighter at the site, said.

Currently, there are 52 volunteers in the program. By the spring, the Tribute Center hopes to have as many as 150 volunteers guiding tours on a regular basis. “When I heard about the volunteer training program, I signed up right away,” Tania Head, a survivor of the attacks, said. “It is my responsibility to carry the human stories of September 11 into the future so it can inspire us and future generations to find common ground. What I will always remember is the power of the human spirit and the need to rise above the evil and hate through giving back and keeping this spirit alive. When I give a tour, I am able to do just that.”

As a volunteer at the WTC site, Angelo Guglielmo said leading and assisting the tours has been thought-provoking and fulfilling. “It has been a wonderful experience where not only was I able to share my personal story of my volunteer experience at the WTC site, but also deepen my perspective by meeting fellow volunteers who were directly affected in the aftermath of September 11,” he said.

Marianne Barry, who lost her husband on September 11, said the program is special in the sense that people from different parts of the world will visit the WTC site, looking for knowledge and answers. “Hopefully, our volunteer guides can give visitors answers so they can bring back to their hometowns the scope of the events and how people responded by getting first-hand knowledge from people such as us,” she said. Iris Holohan, who lost her son, agrees with Barry and said the program is unique because it keeps the events of September 11 “real.” “One of the best parts of this program is looking into the eyes of those who want to know more about that day and what followed,” she said.

The tour, which lasts about an hour, has five stops. The group meets in front of the Tribute Center on 120

Liberty Street. After the introduction, the group proceeds to the second stop outside the gates of the Family House. The tour then enters the World Financial Center and makes its third stop at a large window overlooking the site. The fourth and fifth stops of the tour are the Winter Garden and the American Express Memorial.

People who volunteer include but are not limited to, family members, survivors of the attacks, Lower Manhattan workers and residents, police officers, firefighters, other rescue workers and volunteers. All volunteers must be age 18 or older.

The first step is to complete a written application. After the application is completed, he or she will be contacted for an interview. After volunteers complete their training, they develop and practice their tours until they are ready to be a tour leader. To receive an application, email your request to Volunteer@tributenyc.org.

If you would like to volunteer, but are not interested in giving tours, there are other ways you can help. Once Tribute opens, volunteers will be needed to work as greeters to answer questions and help with the visitors. Please contact us at volunteer@tributenyc.org for more information.

“Being part of this program is yet one more gift I have been given in being alive,” Senn said. “People from all over the world will leave this place knowing that NEVER FORGET will always be more than just two words.”

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