The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 24, 2013

WTC workers scrawl graffiti of defiance, hope

— NEW YORK (AP) — On most construction projects, workers are discouraged from signing or otherwise scrawling on the iron and concrete. At the skyscraper rising at ground zero, though, they're being invited to leave messages for the ages.

"Freedom Forever. WTC 9/11" is scrawled on a beam near the top of the gleaming, 104-story One World Trade Center. "Change is from within" is on a beam on the roof. Another reads: "God Bless the workers & inhabitants of this bldg."

One of the last pieces of steel hoisted up last year sits near a precarious edge. The message on it reads: "We remember. We rebuild. We come back stronger!" It is signed by a visitor to the site last year — President Barack Obama.

The words on beams, walls and stairwells of the skyscraper that replaces the twin towers lost on Sept. 11, 2001, form the graffiti of defiance and rebirth, what ironworker supervisor Kevin Murphy calls "things from the heart." They're remembrances of the 2,700 people who died, and testaments to the hope that rose from a shattered morning.

"This is not just any construction site, this is a special place for these guys," says Murphy of the 1,000 men and some women who work in the building at any given time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Everyone here wants to be here, they want to put this building up," Murphy says. "They're part of the redemption."

On a frigid, windy winter day, with the 9/11 memorial fountain straight below and the Statue of Liberty in the distance, Murphy supervised a crew of men guiding the first piece of the steel spire that will top out the building at a dizzying 1,776 feet — the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you agree with the U.S. House’s decision to sue President Obama?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee