(NEW YORK) — President Obama and the First Lady got a firsthand look Thursday at the new skyscraper being built to replace the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
“It looks beautiful,” the president said to his wife as they glanced out a window on the 22nd floor to the National September 11 Memorial below.
After touring the new One World Trade Center, the president thanked the workers for building the “incredible structure,” which will rise to a symbolic 1,776 feet to become the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.
“We couldn’t be prouder of you guys. This is what the American spirit is all about,” the president told the hard-hat wearing construction workers, according to reports.
The president, who was also joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, then signed one of the final steel beams to be installed in the building with a message to all Americans.
“We remember. We rebuild. We come back stronger! Barack Obama,” the president wrote.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jon Ostrower and Rene Marsh, CNN
Tal Kopan, CNN
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Eric Levenson, Devon Sayers and Jamiel Lynch, CNN