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.