Lynchburg's Banker Steel Employees Commemorate World Trade Center Completion
Lynchburg, VA - Thursday, the final piece of the newly built World Trade Center was lifted into place. The spire was draped in an American flag.
It marked a special day for all Americans, but especially for those who had a hand in building this new trade center.
Lynchburg's Banker steel was used in the foundation of the new building.
And Thursday, workers watched as their hard work held up the crown atop the western hemisphere's tallest building.
The men who helped build this legendary project from the ground up, say they'll remember this day forever.
"In essence, I helped set that needle. Yes, I am a part of that building" said Banker Steel employee, Jim Brown.
Brown has sawed steel for decades. In 2006, he cut the steel that sits as the foundation of the newly built world trade center.
"All were cut on this machine right here" he said.
He even kept a memento so he'd remember the day he helped make history.
In fact, Banker Steel provided 3,300 tons to the project. That's the entire steel foundation of One World Trade.
Brown can remember standing alongside victims' families, in a 2006 ceremony, signing the initial piece of steel that would commence construction.
"We had to put it back. We couldn't have left it, just like it was, at ground level; we had to put something back. And that reinforces the grain of the American people" he said.
"It's been a long time coming since 2001" said Chet McPhatter, Banker Steel's COO.
Like the foundation the company laid at one world trade, this project he says helped give a foundation to the country.
"It's probably the most important we've done as far as getting that building started and getting the country on the way to recovery" he said.
And as for Jim Brown, "If they're down on their knees, try to help them up off their knees" he said.
He couldn't agree more.
"We had to go back and we had to say, no no no, we're going to put something else back here. May take a little while, but we're going to put something else back here" he said.
Nearly one tenth of the steel sitting in the new world trade center was built by Banker. And the project changed the company. They now have projects all over New York City, the first of which was One World Trade.