One World Trade Center became the tallest building in New York this afternoon, surpassing the Empire State Building, when ironworkers installed one of the steel columns of the tower, which will rise 104 stories high after the last 4 floors are completed. Several news journalists were invited up to the 100th floor of the tower yesterday and today to talk to some of the construction workers, many of whom witnessed the fall of the Twin Towers at the site on 9/11, and all of whom consider working on this project an honor and a privilege.
ABC News journalists George Stephanopoulos and Bob Woodruff visited the 100th floor of the One World Trade Center today, which they explained must be achieved first with elevators and then with ladders for the last ten floors. The spectacular view from that vista can be seen behind them in the video broadcast included below. Yesterday they even went to a higher level to visit with three crane operators working at the top of this project who witnessed the fall of the Towers on that terrible day 10½ years ago. One of them talked about the emotional aspect of working at the site where so many lost their lives:
“[It was] Tough coming to work every day, and there were family members outside trying to give you flowers to bring in – tough.”
Another one of the crane operators, who immigrated to the United States 27 years ago, considers his work on the building his gift to our country. Holding back tears, he remarks:
“This building is – it’s so emotional. You can’t even imagine how I feel. I really feel proud.”
In addition to the piece marks which label the beams and columns for erection, many beams are painted with dedications to fallen firefighters and United States servicemen, making the building itself a working memorial to many of those who have been lost.
In the second video clip below, NBC’s Harry Smith talks with ironworker Kevin Murphy, who also remarks on the emotional component of this job.
“Way more emotion than we are used to. We are ironworkers – we don’t show our emotions well. But around here you can’t help it.”
Harry Smith ends his report with:
“The finished One World Trade Center will be 1,776 feet. That’s right: 1776. And we will look up even higher.”
The NBC video (following a short commercial):