The final pieces to a spire that tops One World Trade Center were raised Thursday. Draped in the American flag and accompanied by cheering construction workers, the raising of the pieces not only signified a major progression in the project, but also served as a symbolic moment for Americans. With the building being nearly completed, hopes that the site will serve as a memorial for those that perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and for it be an illustration of hope and renewal will soon be brought to fruition.
"It’s a beacon that'll be seen for miles around and give a tremendous indication to people around the entire region, and the world, that we're back and we're better than ever," said Steven Plate, the director of construction, told CNN.
Construction crews laid a cornerstone at the site symbolically on July 4, 2004. However plans were stalled until 2006 when workers finally broke ground. Now One World Trade Center stands 104 stories. With the raising of the 408-foot spire, the skyscraper in total stands 1,776 feet tall, illustrating the year of the birth of our nation. Additionally, One World Trade Center now holds the title of being the tallest building in New York City, and will also become the tallest in all of the Western Hemisphere.
The tower is scheduled to open in 2014, and several tenants have already claimed residency in the new structure. Some of these tenants include the prominent magazine publishing company Condé Nast, and the government-operated General Services Administration (GSA).
Thursday also marked the second anniversary of the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Bin Laden was found after one of the most extensive and high profile manhunts ever. In a nail-biting mission, Navy SEAL team 6 located bin Laden in a remote home in Pakistan, killing one of the world's most dangerous fugitives. One World Trade Center's coincidental date of completion falling on the anniversary of bin Laden's death is not only ironic, but serves as a major indicator of American patriotism prevailing in the face of evil that swept the nation 12 years ago.
With One World Trade Center in its final stages of completion, Americans can smile a little wider. While American culture will be forever changed by the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks, the new skyscraper is a major indicator of the United States's ability to adapt and move forward. One World Trade Center's stature illustrates a significant progression in this post 9/11 era and the beginning of a new age where fear will slowly diminish from American culture.