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

Mark Lennihan / AP, file

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: "We remember," ''We rebuild" and "We come back stronger!" during a ceremony at the construction site June 14. Also adorned with the autographs of workers and police officers at the site, the beam will be sealed into the structure of the tower, which is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Mark Lennihan / AP

Graffiti left by visitors to One World Trade Center is seen on a steel column on the 104th floor on Jan. 15, 2013.

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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Mark Lennihan / AP

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.

From April 2012: Six years since construction began on 1 World Trade Center, the tower will soon surpass the height of the Empire State Building's roof. The iron workers placing and setting each beam in the shadow of the 9/11 attacks say they are building out of a "sense of necessity" and know that the tower, now soaring nearly 1300 feet, will help the nation and the iron workers themselves heal. Many of the workers building the tower helped clean the smoldering debris in the days after the terrorist attack. Harry Smith reports.