Page 8 - HIWT Winter 2012 World of Welding
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THE WORLD OF WELDING                                                                

            refleCtions on 9/11 sCulpture

            Neil Mansfield is a metal artist, welder, ironworker, vocational teacher, and blacksmith.  He was born into a family of structural
            steel ironworkers. His father, grandfather, uncles, and cousins were all ironworkers who helped shape the skylines of both New
            York City and Philadelphia from the 1920s until the 1980s. It was a proud heritage of walking the high iron while building
            skyscrapers and erecting famous bridges with hard work, sweat, backbreaking pain, and sometimes near-death accidents.  The
            artist later became an iron worker himself.

            The artist’s father was one of many ironworkers who helped build the World Trade Center in the early 1970s. At that time, lower
            Manhattan was a beehive of energy in construction around this huge project. The work of the ironworkers from Local Unions
            40 and 361 was an integral part of the construction: they erected, welded, and bolted the two monolithic towers that became
            known worldwide as a symbol of New York’s financial might.

            During the 9/11 attacks, Neil’s brother –in –law, who was a NYC firefighter, responded to the World Trade Center attacks.  As
            we know, this was one of the darkest hours the country has ever experienced.

            The sculpture you see below is an interpretation of an image that was seared into the artist’s mind…as well as countless other
            American minds…as we all watched the disaster unfold before our very eyes on TV.

            This is a sculpture in memory of all citizen victims, firefighters, police, EMTs, and emergency responders.

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