Rise of Freedom

Rise of Freedom: Seeing Sept. 11 Through Children's Eyes

At the new World Trade Center, progress is steady. Tower 1 is 62 stories. Many of the name plates lining the memorial’s fountains are installed and covered in preparation for September's opening. As the city goes by, work goes on.

Forty-eight floors above the site, in 7 World Trade Center, there is something rather odd for a hi-tech high rise. A vacant floor has become an art studio.

Marcus Robinson has been painting the work on the new World Trade Center for years, and on this day he welcomed a group of students for a lesson on art. After reminding them to maintain a “free spirit” when they painted, everyone looked out the windows and put their pencils to work.

Everything about the World Trade Center is large. One World Trade Center will rise to 1,776 feet, a number of great significance. The 2.6-million-square-foot building will be joined by three other towers. Tower 2 will be 1,349 feet. Tower 3 will be 1,170 feet and Tower 4, 977 feet. That’s about a mile of new office towers that will dominate the skyline of southern Manhattan.

"When I think about what they are doing I can't imagine actually doing something like that,” says Cori 14. She adds, “It looks so difficult and everything is so large and I feel really small."

For adults, it’s hard to imagine, but Cori, along with her classmates Tyler and Aliyyah, has no memory of Sept. 11, 2001. But they were alive, so their knowledge of that day offers them a different perspective than most adults.

As Aliyyah sees it, being alive now gives her something to cherish: "It would probably make me special, to be in this time period, because I was here when it went down and I was here when it came back.”

Tyler agrees, and thinks about it with a concept in mind that transcends generations. "It's almost like a time capsule.” He continues, “right now we are putting things in, all this knowledge of how it looks now. Then when it is all built, we can say I knew what that looked like [before].”

Cori is struck with a weird sense, saying, “It seems surreal, we were here before that was there.” As she looks out at the city she says, “you think of a lot of these buildings as just there, but when you are there when they are being built they stick out."

They do stick out. Like many, even more than many, I wish work were further along. But it isn’t and we can bicker and complain over that, it’s our right. Personally, I’ve tried to leave that behind, and embrace a more hopeful attitude that the future will bring great things. Perhaps I’m naïve, but a synonym for that word is youthful and I’ll take it.

There is a line in the Bible and I thought of it after asking young Tyler if he had anything to add. He said of the work on the new World Trade Center, "It almost makes me feel safe because it lets me know when something big like 9/11 happens we are able to retaliate so quickly and set up something that wasn't there before."

Matthew 11:25; "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

To see the latest segment in the Rise of Freedom series tune into Fox Report with Shepard Smith, tonight, at 7p.m. EDT.

To learn more about Marcus Robinson go to http://marcusrobinsonart.com. You can also catch up on all our segments by going to www.foxnews.com/freedom. To learn about the work and progress you can also visit these sites www.wtc.com, www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress and www.national911memorial.org.

Martin Hinton is Executive Producer with Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @MartinFHinton.