Mohawk "skywalkers" continue
to help shape New York City skyline
The following story was published in the Montreal Gazette on the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
Each morning Steve Cross rides an elevator up to his job in the clouds. He is part of a team of steel-nerved ironworkers constructing the World Trade Center's signature tower, the 105-story One World Trade Center.
Not only is he working on one of the country's most significant projects; he is continuing a legacy which is more than a century old of Mohawk First Nation ironworkers from Canada, helping to shape the Manhattan skyline.
"My father did it, my grandfather and great-grandfather," said Cross, who is from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. "And I have a lot of friends doing it. Even on this job right now, there's Mohawks all over the job. It means a lot to see all these familiar faces when you're coming from so many miles away."
All across the city are the steel skeletons of some of New York's greatest landmarks; the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the United Nations, the Chrysler Building and George Washington Bridge. Each have the fingerprints and steel-toed boot prints of Mohawk "skywalkers" all over them.
It's why in the aftermath of 9/11, Mohawks were among those who rushed to Ground Zero to help dismantle and clean up the mangled steel beams that had come crashing down.
Read more of this great story from the Montreal Gazette