SEP 8, 2021

Ironworkers from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena have built New York City’s skyscrapers for generations. They helped build the World Trade Center, they were working when the Twin Towers fell, and they raced immediately to the rescue and cleanup effort.

On that sunny Tuesday morning, Mohawk ironworker Roger Thomas was working on a high-rise in Jersey City, 700 feet off the ground with a clear view of Manhattan. He watched as the plane hit the first twin tower, and he said the second plane turned right near his building, almost at eye level.

Thomas could see people stranded in the towers’ top stories as the buildings caught fire.

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