After losing her brother T.J. Hargrave on Sept.11, volunteer Jeanmarie Hargrave has found healing in sharing the stories of that day with visitors as a 9/11 Memorial Museum docent.
"People really feel when they’re here," said Hargrave. "You know they’re leaving with something."
Joe de Blasio lost a friend in the attacks and was inspired to volunteer as a way to give back. Even educating Museum visitors about structural artifacts like the World Trade Center steel beams, he said, has brought people together and sparked meaningful conversations.
As a docent, de Blasio has enjoyed speaking with visitors from around the world and those of his granddaughter’s generation who have no memory of the attacks. "People are really interested in why this event happened," he said.
Hargrave also has found it meaningful to interact with visitors from other countries as a volunteer. "People came from around the world to volunteer at ground zero after 9/11," she said. "There are so many beautiful stories to be told about people helping one another. It’s personal for all of us."
Melissa Narain, a criminology student at John Jay College interested in pursuing a homeland security graduate degree, decided to volunteer in visitor services after seeing a flyer at school.
"Here you can really see what our city and our people have been through, and how strong New York City has been," she said.
In recognition of National Volunteer Week from April 10 through 16, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum thanks its dedicated volunteers and encourages others to get involved. Events for current and prospective volunteers will take place throughout the week, including an opening ceremony and a recruitment table with information about volunteer opportunities.
Also this week, Museum visitors are invited to attend special live talks led by Museum docents in the auditorium weekdays at noon. Each talk will discuss the docent’s personal connection to 9/11, a Museum artifact that embodies that connection, and why he or she volunteers. The live talks are free with Museum admission.
Click here for more information about volunteering.
By Kaylee Skaar, 9/11 Memorial Communications Manager