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Changing of an Era
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WTC Builders Speak Up
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My hometown of Kahnawake has a proud tradition of ironwork dating back through the last century and a half, with many famous landmarks being part of the local heritage. Men from Kahnawake were on the workcrews that built many of the highest buildings, as Mohawks are renowned for their ability to work normally at extreme heights. My grandmother showed me pictures of her cousin posing at the top of the Empire State Building as the building was topped out.
Another project many of our men worked on was the World Trade Center in New York. After the towers collapsed, many of our men were on the work crews that searched the wreckage for survivors, and later, remains. We will never forget those who are victims of terrorism, and we will never forget the buildings themselves. As many of the men here say, "We built them once, and we can build them again"
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Peter: 15th Feb 2006 - 19:44 GMT
wow. as a new yorker, i really appreciated seeing this entry.
EvilGentleman: 15th Feb 2006 - 19:49 GMT
EvilGentleman: 15th Feb 2006 - 20:03 GMT
I thought you might like that, Peter. You really seem to be a proud New Yorker. My family has always had connections to New York, too.
My dad lived under the Brooklyn Bridge (NE corner of Fulton and Water) when he was little, and my grandparents were married there back in 1946. My grandmother took me there to show me her old home, and she told me so many stories of life in New York during the war. New York is part of my ancestral homeland, and we still have a large number of Mohawks living in New York, mostly Brooklyn, and Staten Island, with a few in Long Island.
Although Kahnawake is 45 minutes north of the Canada-US border, we have a strong connection to the USA and its history. My grandfather fought in the Pacific as a US Army soldier, and many of our young people today are still signing up for US military service, most commonly the Marine Corps. Our community is considered by Canada to be on Canadian soil, but you will see many more Mohawk and American flags flying there than Canadian, and unlike Canada, we have Mohawks serving in Iraq as we speak.
Franny Wentzel: 19th Jul 2009 - 08:58 GMT
National Geographic did an article in the 1950s about the Mohawk iron workers featuring work being done to build the ESB's TV transmitter.
EvilGentleman: 13th Jan 2010 - 09:20 GMT
Thanks, Franny. Interesting to see the perspectives of 1950's America towards my people. I suppose I should dig up the other National Geographic articles (I have the National Geographic CD-ROM box set), as well as articles in other publications such as newspapers, or even Soldier of Fortune. Most articles are related to either Mohawk high-steel workers or Mohawks serving in the military, but a number are also connected to the Oka Crisis of 1990.
mr thomasmcgowan: 19th Feb 2010 - 22:21 GMT
this is the best photos ive seen about steel erectorsimysel done this job to in power stations, doonray, longannet,and meny moorethanks again tommy mc gowan 20kyleakin road arden glasgow
Shannon Lahache: 8th Dec 2011 - 12:49 GMT
Wow! this is an awesome article! Turns out Tom Lahache mentioned, is my great grand father (his father Napoleon Lahache Died in the Quebec Bridge of 1907). I wonder if we can order prints from National Geographic of that picture lighting the cig with the hot rivet!!!
Daniel Dean: 3rd Mar 2012 - 17:40 GMT
I was wondering where I could find more information on family history. My grandfather was Dominic Two Axe, My grandfather Howard Horn. Any resources would be helpful. I was also wondering if you know other issues of National Geographic that had one of the wives (my mom thinks it may be her grandmother (Dominic's second wife) doing beadwork on a street in New York. Thanks, Daniel. email@example.com
Franny Wentzel: 3rd Mar 2012 - 21:16 GMT
To Daniel:Try www.kahnawakelonghouse.com
A search through my NatGeo CDs and there were only five results for any of the Mohawk tribes. None had the picture you've described. Might help if I had a time range to look through.
September '87 issue has an article on the Iroquis Nation that I'll be posting soon.
Franny Wentzel: 3rd Mar 2012 - 21:58 GMT
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