America Rebuilds II: Return to Ground Zero . The Program | PBS
America Rebuilds II: Return to Ground Zero
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America Rebuilds II, please contact:
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Freedom Tower

7 World Trade Center

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The Program

America Rebuilds II picks up where Part 1 left off, at the ceremony marking the end of the recovery process in May 2002.

After September 11th, workers cleared two million tons of rubble as they searched for the 2,749 people murdered that day. Fewer than half of the victims were ever recovered. At the World Trade Center site, in Lower Manhattan, stood the twin towers, a hotel, and four office buildings. The PATH train station underneath the site was the last stop for some 67,000 people who commuted to Lower Manhattan every day. The attack on the twin towers destroyed all of it, leaving 16 acres bare.

Learn how in just three years the PATH train came back and just two years after that, WTC 7, the last building to fall on September 11th, was the first to be completed. Hear thoughts on the design chosen for the Memorial to the victims of 9/11 and why it remains controversial.

"The PATH system was a vital link between New Jersey and New York. The return of the system was paramount in terms of bringing some normalcy back to downtown."

— Peter Rinaldi
Port Authority engineer

Regarding WTC 7... "What we learned on 9/11 is steel trusses did not stand up well under intense heat. So we decided to eliminate steel truss construction. We use massive steel beams anchored into the concrete core to provide redundancy. So that if you lose a steel column the load would get redistributed and the building would continue to stand."

— Larry Silverstein
Builder, WTC 7

"I understand just how important this memorial is to so many people. What happened on September 11th influenced me greatly and my personal sense of grief and loss lead me to submit this memorial design."

— Michael Arad
Architect, WTC Memorial

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Image credits: Courtesy of Silverstein Properties | Published on: August 28, 2006