9/11 Relic Returned to Ground Zero

A trident being lowered into Ground Zero, Sept. 7, 2010.
They lowered a 70-foot column into Ground Zero Tuesday, one of two tridents - as they're known - that weigh 50 tons each and were the last pieces of steel salvaged from the wreckage of the North Tower. They're now back as a part of a memorial, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod.

"As I look at ground zero today, I think we are finally seeing progress," said one New Yorker.

Four days before the ninth anniversary of 9/11, people are seeing what they've been aching for at ground zero: Progress.

"Nine years is not unreasonable for something as complex politically, as complex financially, given the way the world has changed since 9/11," said New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. "Or as complex as something from an engineering point of view."

Two-thousand construction workers are on the job seven days a week. The Freedom Tower is now 36 stories high, on its way to 105. One new story is set to be added each week.

Eighty percent of what will be the largest man-made waterfall in the country is now finished. A few days ago, the first of 16 of 400 trees were planted to symbolize the return of life to the site. The man in charge of the 9/11 memorial promises it will be done for next year's 10th anniversary.

"A bunch of people's jobs are on the line, including my own," said Joe Daniels, president of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. "As far as I am concerned, everything is going to happen to get it done…and I truly believe on the 10th we are going to open the memorial."

But the emotion tied to this piece of land guarantees it will always be more than just a construction project, and explains why many here feel it's simply taken too long.

"9/11 fundamentally disgraced the memory of those who perished there," said Michael Burke, whose brother was killed on 9/11, "because of the incompetence that's exhibited in the entire rebuilding process."

Nine years later, the grief remains raw for the survivors of those killed on 9/11. Even while the rebuilding here is now easier to see than ever before.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.