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Ironworkers Display Tremendous Emotion as Completion of One World Trade Center Approaches

Since the fateful September 11th attacks, Ground Zero has been a symbol of American resolve, first as a gaping hole among a never ending panoramic of skyscrapers, then as a symbol of our ability to move on as it began to climb the skyline during reconstruction. Now, as completion nears, it serves as a symbol that 10 years after the fact, despite our differences, we are still a nation whose spirit cannot be broken. Brian Williams recently used his new prime time news platform, Rock Center, to get the new Tower’s construction workers to reflect:

“It’s a part of history. It’s a part of rebuilding you know, part of putting lives back together to show people that the spirit won’t be broken,” iron worker Marvin Davis told Harry Smith in an interview broadcast on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.

Quite obviously, those working on this project take tremendous pride in it. Many of the workers are family members of those who built the original structure, so in a sense their hard work is a tribute to the their loved ones. The new tower will soon be taller than the Empire State Building and as it continues to ascend, workers are becoming more and more emotional:

“Way more emotion than we’re used to.  We’re iron workers.  We don’t show our emotions well, but around here, you can’t help it, you know. You see families come.  You’re looking down at the memorial.  You see everybody looking at the memorial.  This is definitely a very emotional place,” Murphy said. 

In a matter of months, the tower is expected to “top out.” That’s what it means when the last steel beam gets put in place.  After the spire is added, One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the United States at a symbolic 1,776 feet. 

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For many workers, the new highs being felt as construction wraps up are as extreme as the lows felt when the project began:

Eric Hunt, a veteran iron worker who helped repair the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing, said he’s thankful to be building One World Trade Center.

“In the beginning, it was sad and every day, you had to overcome that, but as you get into it and you make it through your days and you spend a month, a year, whatever, it becomes a sense of necessity.  You know, this had to be done,” Hunt said.

Hunt said that as they build higher and higher, the iron workers feel a “little bit of glory.”

“Every man here has put a sense of pride into this building and it’s just heavy duty, has armor.  It’s modern day pyramids,” Hunt said.


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