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'Things from the heart': Workers at World Trade Center site scrawl graffiti of defiance, hope

Ironworkers James Brady, left, and Billy Geoghan release the cables from a steel beam after connecting it on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center in New York on Aug. 2, 2012. The beam was signed by President Barack Obama with the words:
Ironworkers James Brady, left, and Billy Geoghan release the cables from a steel beam after connecting it on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center in New York on Aug. 2, 2012. The beam was signed by President Barack Obama with the words:Mark Lennihan / AP, file
Graffiti left by visitors to One World Trade Center is seen on a steel column on the 104th floor on Jan. 15, 2013.
Graffiti left by visitors to One World Trade Center is seen on a steel column on the 104th floor on Jan. 15, 2013.Mark Lennihan / AP

The Associated Press reports — On most construction projects, workers are discouraged from signing or otherwise scrawling on the iron and concrete. At the skyscraper rising at ground zero, though, they're being invited to leave messages for the ages.

"Freedom Forever. WTC 9/11" is scrawled on a beam near the top of the gleaming, 104-story One World Trade Center. "Change is from within" is on a beam on the roof. Another reads: "God Bless the workers & inhabitants of this bldg."

The words on beams, walls and stairwells of the skyscraper that replaces the twin towers lost on Sept. 11, 2001, form the graffiti of defiance and rebirth, what ironworker supervisor Kevin Murphy calls "things from the heart." Read the full story.

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Ground Zero ten years later

The name Antony is seen on a steel column on the 102nd floor of One World Trade Center on Jan. 15, 2013. Workers finishing New York's tallest building are leaving their personal marks on the concrete and steel in the form of graffiti.
The name Antony is seen on a steel column on the 102nd floor of One World Trade Center on Jan. 15, 2013. Workers finishing New York's tallest building are leaving their personal marks on the concrete and steel in the form of graffiti.Mark Lennihan / AP
A message left by Michael Chertoff, the former director of Homeland Security, on a steel column on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center, seen on Jan. 15, 2013.
A message left by Michael Chertoff, the former director of Homeland Security, on a steel column on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center, seen on Jan. 15, 2013.Mark Lennihan / AP