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Cornerstone Laid at New World Trade Center Construction Site
VOA News
04 Jul 2004, 15:35 UTC

Workers in New York City have laid the cornerstone for a new building at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center.

The 20-ton slab of granite bears an inscription that reads, "To honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and as a tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom."

Sunday's ceremony marked the start of construction on the Freedom Tower, a 70-story skyscraper that will be topped by a spire meant to suggest the Statue of Liberty.

The building's height will be 1,776 feet, a number chosen to evoke America's year of independence.

The project has the backing of New York officials eager to show the city has rebounded from the 2001 terrorist attacks.

But critics say in the rush to rebuild, the city has overlooked several issues, including building safety and historical preservation of the Trade Center site.