While many seek material rewards in return for their efforts, Peekskill’s Glenn Guzi has hosted the British royal family on tours of the World Trade Center (WTC) site for 15 years, with nothing in mind save for paying tribute to a personal attachment. Circa September 2001, Guzi worked in Tower One for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but happened not to take 9/11 off. Ever since that day’s attachks, his personal and professional life have been dedicated to the WTC’s restoration, an integral part of which has been acting as ambassador to overseas leadership.
“I’ve worked with the British government as a whole for a number of years,” he confirms, alluding to having hosted everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to prime ministers and city mayors. “It’s been a very broad spectrum, and the royal family has been a huge part of it.”
And now, Guzi—who’s currently Program Director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—has earned been anointed by the Queen as an honorary member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a title that rewards outstanding public service. “I never imagined I would see anything like this happen to me,” he acknowledges.
Guzi was first introduced to Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana of Wales in 1990, but his relationship with the British government didn’t develop until Princess Anne toured Ground Zero after 9/11, with Guzi as her guide. And he’s especially humbled by the Queen’s honor, as he has always been moved by the royal family’s “deep sense of connection to America and to New York,” he shares. “It really touches me that they take the time to come here and pay their respects to those lost.”