PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - At 1,776 feet, far higher than the rest of the New York City skyline, the silver spire topping One World Trade Center was guided into place Friday. There were cheers below, as what became Ground Zero in 2001, becomes something else, nearly 12 years after the September 11 attacks.
"We'll never forget that day," said Mark Harris, a former New York City Fire Department paramedic who now lives in Palm Beach County. "We'll never forget what happened." Harris was nearly killed by the crushing debris that rained down when the towers collapsed. "I knew quite a few people and attended quite a few funerals," he said.
These days, Harris fights breathing problems that he says are a result of working at Ground Zero. On Friday, he watched as this spire was secured high above the spot where he almost lost his life. "It's to show that we rebuild and that we come back stronger and bigger than ever," said Harris.
Though Harris understands the symbolism of the iconic structure, he says he is not entirely sure it should be there. The high-rise office building is in a place where so many people perished. "The building is a symbol," he said. "The memorial is a memory and that's more important."
That 480 foot spire will serve as a broadcast antenna and an LED light coming from it will be seen from miles away. The new tower is adjacent to the two memorial pools that are set within the footprints of the original twin towers.