Some events we call the end of an era (often hyperbolically). This one we can call the beginning of a new era, and hopefully not overshoot the mark. Today — or possibly tomorrow, depending on the weather — the new World Trade Center tower will achieve its planned height of 1,776 feet, making it the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, a year ahead of the tower’s planned opening:

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One World Trade Center already is New York’s tallest building.

And when the last pieces of its spire rise to the roof — weather permitting — the 104-floor skyscraper that replaces the fallen twin towers will be just feet from becoming the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the spire pieces plus a steel beacon will then be lifted at a later date from the rooftop to cap the building at 1,776 feet. …

With the beacon at its peak to ward off aircraft, the spire will provide public transmission services for television and radio broadcast channels that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, along with the trade center towers.

Overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the high-rise is scheduled to open for business in 2014.

Bad weather today in New York may end up delaying this until tomorrow, but the journey of almost twelve years to answer the 9/11 attacks is almost complete. Terrorists targeted our industry and innovation; we have answered it with even more industry and innovation.

At the same time, we have not forgotten the Twin Towers or the victims of the 9/11 attacks.  Just a few days after the 10th anniversary of the attacks, I went to New York and visited the newly-opened memorial at Ground Zero.  I took photos and video of the site, including the tower which had already begun to dominate the area:

As I said at the time, Always remember.  Never forget. And I’ll add — celebrate our resilience and resolve.