Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Ira Quillen
Lynchburg, VA - For the first time since the 911 attacks, "One World Trade Center" is now the tallest skyscraper in New York City. The unfinished skeleton of the building called the "Freedom Tower" now reaches 12,500 into the sky.
Monday workers installed another set of steel columns making the tower just a little taller than the Empire State Building. In about a year, when "One World Trade Center" is finished, it will stand 1,776 feet tall, including an antenna. It will stretch beyond the Sears Tower, making it the tallest building in the Western hemisphere.
The new structure actually has some Lynchburg ties. Banker Steel was hired to build the base of One World Trade Center.
Banker Steel does contracts all over the country, all the time, but the president of the company says this project does not come close to any experience they have taken part in.
"I got to help build the first columns from the time they went to the saw, from the time they went to fit up, from the time they got welded, painted, and put on the trailer," employee Kris Krone said.
Krone calls it an honor.
"It means a lot to have a part in it. You get to help show the world what this county is made out of and that we're going to rebuild," Krone said.
He and several other employees here are doing just that.
"It really means a lot for us to have a part in that part of history," said Milton Carson, Banker Steel supervisor.
"They take a lot of pride in what they're doing, and they take a lot of pride in building buildings but they take a lot of pride in building this freedom tower," CEO Donald Banker said.
He says this project is a special one. That is why he says it was important to have a couple of the box columns signed by some Central Virginians and folks who lost loved ones.
"I thought what an incredible opportunity to be participating with this rebuilding process," Banker said.
Banker Steel built the base and covered up one of the underground rail lines, among other things. Now a part of Lynchburg will forever be in the Trade Center.
Employees say some of their colleagues, who want to remain anonymous, actually helped build parts for the Twin Towers.