The Electrical Worker online
May 2015

From the Officers
index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to
An Enduring Symbol

Nearly 200 songs have been written about the carnage of 9/11 since the Twin Towers toppled. But over 40 years before Alan Jackson sang about how the "world stopped turning," the "Grim Cathedral" commemorated by Canadian folk artist David Francey first emerged as a place that fused tragedy and majesty.

Sixty construction workers who died building the first World Trade Center rest unheralded. But their sacrifices and the dedicated work of thousands more are eloquently expressed in the words of Local 3 steward Ken Forsberg, who says, of One World Trade Center, "We never stopped being there."

One World Trade Center is rising, an enduring symbol of perseverance in the face of overwhelming danger and adversity. Our brothers and sisters in Local 3 who inhabit this holy space in body or spirit promise to never forget the 21 IBEW members who died on 9/11.

Anyone who has been moved by the solemn cadences and haunting echoes of Local 3's Sword of Light Pipe Band knows their promise is resolute, a pledge to continue to honor the work of a handful of courageous men who came together in 1901 to organize the city's electricians.

"We never stopped being there." That proclamation defines Local 3's importance and stature not just in this corner of Manhattan, but in every borough and bend of the Big Apple.

From building legendary skyscrapers to standing up for the rights of workers outside its own ranks; from maintaining a city's aging infrastructure to building affordable housing and pioneering pension plans for its own members, Local 3 and its 27,000 members have been there, a beacon of trade unionism in a city of wealth and power.

If you and your family find yourselves in New York, visit One World Trade Center. And, as you reflect on the tragedy of its origins, share the pride of IBEW brothers and sisters whose hard work helps one of the world's great cities endure.


Also: Chilia: Pass the 'Grow America Act' Read Chilia's Column

Edwin D. Hill

Edwin D. Hill
International President