Monday, June 16, 2014

Volunteers return to Ground Zero

"Ken Turner told me to rent a car and go," said Disaster Mental Health Volunteer Peggy McGee-Smith of her instructions from the Greater Buffalo Chapter's Emergency Services Director on September 11, 2001. "I think I got the last rental car. I never thought that planes wouldn't be flying, and the only other cars driving in were ambulances. We didn't think about it, we just went."

The 9/11 Memorial during a personal visit there in
December 2013
Smith, of Kenmore, hadn't been back to Ground Zero in New York City since serving in the initial Red Cross response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 until returning last month to support the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Smith was joined by Marjorie Beldue of Spencerport and Ferris Todd of Canandaigua as the Red Cross partnered with the 9/11 Foundation to offer on-site counseling and on-call assistance during the dedication.

"This is mainly for the family members, so it may be a very tough time for some," said McGee-Smith. "It's an honor for so many of us that were there to be asked to help. It's like it's coming full circle, a sense of completion."