Last Friday marked a momentous occasion for our country, as a group of craft professionals bolted the spire for the new World Trade Center into place 1,776 feet above the ground in New York City. This incredibly emotional moment meant a great deal to many Americans, and provided an opportunity to remember those who were lost in the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie from the NBC Today Show share the moment in this short video:
While the events of that fateful day will live in infamy, last Friday was about more than just mourning a tragic loss. It was also about hope, renewal and rebuilding.
Millions of Americans drank their morning coffee, ate breakfast with their families or got ready for work or school as they watched breathtaking video of a tower crane operator slowly raising and lowering the spire, skillfully adjusting to the windy conditions. After the operator gently lowered the 758-ton spire into its final resting place, a small group of ironworkers anxiously waiting on a catwalk worked hastily to bolt it into place as hundreds of craft workers looked on from a larger platform below. As the last bolt was tightened, the ironworkers turned toward the camera and cheered triumphantly as the crowd below burst into frenzied applause.
The significance of the moment is difficult to put into words. While there was undoubtedly a wide range of emotions felt across the country, the reactions of the craft professionals involved made it obvious that they felt an overwhelming sense of pride in what they had just accomplished.
No event could provide a better example of the sense of achievement and camaraderie that construction professionals experience in their careers. Although they aren’t always on live television performing their crafts in front of an audience of millions, they are building our skyscrapers, bridges, schools and many other projects across the nation every day. The crane operator, ironworkers and countless others who have helped to rebuild the World Trade Center will always be able to look at that structure and know they took part in creating an enduring symbol of American hope and freedom. Just like them, craft professionals all across America get to see the fruits of their hard work. They have the unique opportunity to see the projects they worked on decades after they are finished and know that they were part of building America.
I felt this historic milestone was the perfect opportunity to highlight the unique and special opportunities the construction industry has to offer. While there were many folks from many different fields involved in all facets of rebuilding the World Trade Center, only craft professionals actually had the skills to put the final piece of the puzzle into place. Build Your Future honors and thanks all the craft professionals that have contributed to building a strong America.