9/11 Museum Like a Second Home to Volunteer

Inez Robertson, a Museum volunteer, poses on steps at the Museum as visitors walk by, going up and down the stairs.
Inez Robertson, 9/11 Memorial Museum volunteer since 2013. Photo by Jin Lee, 9/11 Memorial.

Inez Robertson estimates that she was passing through the Chambers Street subway station when Flight 11 hit the North Tower on Sept. 11, 2001.

Since it was a beautiful, mild morning, Inez and her husband had left the windows open in their lower Manhattan apartment. After Inez’s Midtown office was evacuated, she made the nearly four-mile trek home to find her husband hosing down their dog, who was covered in dust.

The following weeks were difficult – Inez’s apartment building didn’t have electricity for six weeks – but it was a time of generosity, too. “People seemed kinder,” Inez remembers. “There was this spirit of ‘what can we do to help?’”

With no operating elevator in their apartment building, Inez and her husband invited a neighbor who lived on the 27th floor to stay with them on the 9th floor. She also began volunteering with the American Red Cross and at St. Paul’s Chapel, serving food to the rescue and recovery workers.

Volunteering in the months after the attacks whetted her desire to give back, and she has volunteered at the 9/11 Memorial Museum for nearly four years.

“I consider the Museum to be my second home,” Inez said. “It gives me comfort to be here,” recalling that lower Manhattan was “like a war zone” during the recovery.

The best part about Inez’s experience volunteering at the Museum has been meeting visitors from around the globe. She often proves herself to be an indispensable guide to those new to the city.

Inez, who hails from England, once met a London family visiting the Museum. They hit it off so well that she gave them a special tour of her favorite artifacts in the historical exhibition, then afterward took them to the Oculus and Century 21 before grabbing dinner with them. The family and Inez still keep in touch.

Going the extra mile is important to Inez. “If you were in New York on 9/11, you want to honor everyone, to feel like you’re doing something good,” she said. 

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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