| NEW YORK, June 14
NEW YORK, June 14 President Barack Obama and
first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday toured the soaring
skyscraper being built to replace the twin towers destroyed on
Sept. 11, 2001, in a poignant visit to mark a new chapter of
recovery from the traumatic attack.
Inscribing one of the steel beams that will be part of the
building's framework, Obama wrote: "We remember, we rebuild, we
come back stronger!" followed by his signature.
Obama has touted the killing of Osama bin Laden, the al
Qaeda leader behind the attacks on the United States, as one of
his top national security achievements and refers to it often as
he campaigns for re-election.
The president and first lady looked down on the 9/11
memorial from One World Trade Center's 22nd floor, which is
still under construction, after walking beneath bare pipes
illuminated by light bulbs strung from the unfinished ceiling.
"We couldn't be prouder of you guys. This is what the
American spirit is all about," Obama told construction workers
after a brief outdoor ceremony in the shadow of the building,
which is scheduled to be completed in late 2013.
Obama visited the site last September to commemorate the
10-year anniversary of the 2001 attacks by al Qaeda that killed
nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the landmark t w in towers.
In April, One World Trade Center surpassed the Empire State
Building as New York's tallest structure, with a horizontal beam
laid at a height of 1,270 feet (387 meters).
When completed, it will rise 1,776 feet (541 meters) to the
tip of its antenna, taller than the World Trade Center towers.
Construction began six years ago on the edifice, which was
formerly called the Freedom Tower.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the building "a
symbol of the enduring spirit of the city and state of New
(Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Eric Walsh)