Bobby reports to work in the early morning darkness. He is a crane operator, a working man who picked up ground zero ten years ago and is rebuilding it up today.
"It was the human spirit. Came down, you wanted to come down and just help out if you could. If you had some kind of talent you could lend, I think that's what we did. It was all of the good of America that we saw," he said. "It was thousands of people on that pile that day and for a week after or so, five gallon pails or just with your hands moving stuff. It was pretty amazing. A hundred people on a five gallon pail line just passing buckets back and forth."
At precisely 9:11 a.m. on Friday morning, workers like Bobby at Ground Zero turned their machines and their faces toward the memorial. Their own tribute to the fallen, it would have to do since the working man, those who answered the call -- the firefighters and the cops -- weren't invited to the anniversary this Sunday.
So, let me tell you about the dignity of the working man. On those first days when all those people ran down to Ground Zero to help, before you went in the pile they made you write your blood type and your phone number on your arm. I remember the area code "718" -- Brooklyn and Queens -- and the first three digits "516" -- Long Island. Those are working people from the outer boroughs. There was no "212." That's Manhattan. That's the suit guy.
My mom told me I don't think those people are heroes. They're just substantial men. Tell them thank you. She's right. Thank you!
"Certainly a proud part of my life to be part of that, but I also think it was something you're almost supposed to do," Bobby said.
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