Mohawk Ironworkers recalls The World Trade Center and 9/11

As we are approaching the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 disaster, it is appropriate APTN’s Mohawk Ironworkers begins with stories of the World Trade Centre.

I have a number of friends from New York, and one who worked at  Ground Zero mere days after 9/11. When I mentioned this episode to him he said, “They [the Ironworkers] walked into the hazards side by side with firefighters and cops without hesitation. There were lives to save. A job to do.” He calls them heroes.

Peter J. Stacey, Randy J. Horn and Chris Beauvais  from Kahnawa:ke, and Bill Sears from Ahkwesahsne (who claims to be the infamous “Moon Over Manhattan”) are featured in the first segment of the debut. All were involved in the building of the original twin towers and recount their experiences during the construction, sharing a number of entertaining anecdotes. They also share grief following the destruction of the towers. For them, the loss was incredibly personal.

Chris Beauvais, who spent four long months on the cleanup and recovery, was one of the first on site following the collapse. He had been working nearby on another building at the time and explains, “All of the ironworkers went down there. That’s our job. It’s iron and we know how to play with it.”

In the third and final segment, we visit with Preston Horn, Kevin McComber and John McGowen, all from Kahnawa:ke. All three are currently working on the New World Trade Center and speak of their pride in the brotherhood of Mohawk ironworkers, and of being a part of the construction of World One.

The episode also gives a brief overview of the construction of the towers and describes the many innovative techniques that were unique to the construction of the original World Trade Center.

This was a good start to the series, demonstrating the long connection Mohawks have had with the skyline of New York City.  As we are approaching the eve of the anniversary, I would like to close simply with one other thought that my friend shared: “To those iron workers who waded into the horrors with all of us first responders … thank you.”

Mohawk Ironworkers airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET on APTN.

Carolyn Potts
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Carolyn Potts

Teacher. Writer. Mom. Masters' Candidate, Faculty of Education, Western University. Studying Pop Culture Media as a Decolonizer of Education Policy and Practice. I also volunteer as a Girl Guide leader in my spare time.
Carolyn Potts
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One thought on “Mohawk Ironworkers recalls The World Trade Center and 9/11”

  1. Interesting. Or, more appropriately, infuriating. Recently two stories in Canadian news, one was Canadians saving the butts of 1500 Americans when they got blown by high winds across to Sarnia, followed by some Americans who saved the butts of 8 – repeat just 8 – Canadians from house fire in Niagara, now this story of ‘Canadians’ who built the towers in the first place cleaning up the 9/11 mess in New York City. Seems to me the Americans get the way better end of the stick all the time, but nary a word of praise in their news that it was Canadians helping them 4,000 times more than they help us. I don’t get the majority of Canadians finding them to be so much more wonderful than ourselves.

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