In these clips from the special Metal of Honor, cablecast by SpikeTV on Sept. 5, 2006, ironworkers from Ground Zero talk about the bizarre collapse and disintegration of the twin towers and the health effects of working in the toxic brew, among other matters.
"I didn't think they were gonna fall. After being there in '93 and seeing the damage that was done, at the bottom of those columns ... that was some blast! And I didn't think so at all."
"When we were putting those towers up, in our wildest dreams those towers were built not to fall."
"We saw some of the thickest steel I have ever seen, bent like a pretzel. And you just couldn't imagine the force that that took."
"I don't know if a person who has never been an ironworker could imagine, but uh ... all of this massive iron, I mean pieces that weigh 20 or 50 tons, were all mangled and just crumpled up.
"You couldn't have paid a demolition company to take'em down straighter. You know, it was amazing, didn't really damage .. if they had fallen over sideways, could you imagine the damage to Lower Manhattan."