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May 10, 2013 6:24 PM

One World Trade Center: Rising up

(NBC News) A crane lifted the last of a 408-foot tall spire on top of One World Trade Center on Friday, a capstone to an emotional 12-year effort to replace the twin towers destroyed by terrorists.

The 18-piece silver spire will top out the tower at a symbolic 1,776 feet, a nod to the year America signed the Declaration of Independence. The new building is just north of the original towers, now the hallowed ground known as Ground Zero.

"This really is a symbolic moment because this building really represents the resiliency of this country," Port Authority Vice Chair Scott Rechler told TODAY's Matt Lauer, who earlier had made his way up the 104 floors to witness the process. "These people, the thousand men and women who have worked here tirelessly, really as a tribute for the people that perished on 9/11 right on this site."

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