Remembering 9/11: Ground Zero

NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM) – Ten years after the terrorist attacks forever-changed lower Manhattan, and the nation, the new World Trade Center is rising.

On the street below, a CBS 11 News crew found John Bajcic, a native New Yorker, who can never forget that dark day. “It was hard to watch. You live in New York your whole life… to see something like that.”

Bajcic wears his heart on his wrist. It’s in the form of a bracelet that pays tribute to his cousin, Walter Baran, who was on the 90th floor of Tower Two when the plane hit.

“He was important to me,” Bajcic said of his cousin. “I wear it [the bracelet] everyday. This is actually a piece from the old towers. A priest got a hold of some scrap metal and he made bracelets and necklaces for the victims. Growing up in the city with the towers, it’s part of New York, and New York is important to me.”

Bajcic told CBS 11 he’s glad to see progress finally being made at the New York City crash site.

Crews are hard at work building One World Trade Center — which from the beginning has also been called the Freedom Tower.

Two, Three, and Four World Trade Center are also in various stages of construction.  Five World Trade Center is currently in the planning stages by the Port Authority.  A new 7 World Trade Center opened in May, 2006.

There will be giant reflecting pools where the Twin Towers once stood. They will be home to the September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Bajcic said by building the memorial his city is sending a powerful message. “I guess resilience is the big thing. They were knocked down, but they came back up.”

Atop a nearby hotel, 57 stories above Lower Manhattan, you can see the Empire State Building and mid-town Manhattan.

The CBS 11 News crew stood overlooking Ground Zero. Currently, the Freedom Tower stands at 78 stories. Once complete, it will be 102 floors. Factoring in a 300-foot antenna, the tower will rise to nearly 1,800 feet, making it the tallest building in the United States.

Jordan Bosstick and her family from San Diego were among the tourists compelled to visit Ground Zero.

“My heart’s beating really fast,” Bosstick said. “I think it just shows the American people we can get through something like 9/11, and that in the end, we can come together and re-build and build something beautiful.”

CBS 11 found Howie Bond during his lunch break. He and others were busy installing ductwork inside One World Trade Center. Of working on the building Bond said, “You get a chance to be a part of something.”

The World Trade Center attacks will forever be with Bond. He witnessed the second plane hit the tower, and saw the Twin Towers collapse.

“I know a couple of people, couple of friends who were lost in the towers, so it’s emotional.”

Emotional and personal for him as he helps New York re-build on hallowed ground. “It’s history. When I was a little kid, I wasn’t born before the first Trade Center was built. I’m making my mark in history now. It’s something to pass onto my kids. Daddy was involved.”

The original World Trade Center opened in 1973.

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  • Khalilah Sabra

    Our history is full of examples who will give us courage if we let them.

    We owe our existence to the knowledge and technique and the efforts of those who have gone before us. They came from many religions and wore different shades of color. We have a solemn obligation to repay that debt in the coin in which it was given: to work to meet our responsibilities to that greater part of mankind which needs are contribution, to the the deprived, and the victimized, the insulted and those harmed. These men and women who gave us so much did not ask whether we would be their heirs, would be Muslim or Christian, Black or Chinese.
    Muslims, like everyone else, must do the same in the way we meet our obligations to all those who are in need of our humane services.

    No one is exempt nor can he afford to be a spectator in an arena that may engulf him as well. No longer can any people be oblivious to the fate and the future of any other. Every one has something to bring to the table. When we each take that step forward, we will all commit to constructing building of bridges that will not divide us.

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