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World Trade Center reaches new heights with permanent spire

A spire set atop One World Trade Center on Friday was greeted with cheers from workers high in the air and spectators from the street below.

The 408-foot spire, draped in an American flag, brought the New York City structure to a height of 1,776 feet, symbolic of the year the country declared independence, and topped off an 11-year effort to restore the city's skyline following the 9/11 terror attacks.

The 758-ton silver structure will serve as a broadcast antenna, a signal for aircraft, and for many, a resurrection of the World Trade Center.

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"This really is a symbolic moment because this building really represents the resiliency of this country,” Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler told Matt Lauer on the "Today Show". “These people, the thousand men and women who have worked here tirelessly, really as a tribute for the people that perished on 9/11 right on this site.”

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The spire's LED-powered light, which will be activated in the next few months, will serve as a “sign of hope just like the Statue of Liberty” that can be seen for miles, Rechler told the Associated Press.

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The spire is secured to a temporary platform with a more permanent installation to come. Construction on the building, which began in 2006, is set for completion next year.

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