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As New York prepares to observe the ninth anniversary of September 11, state leaders have a message for the world: Life is returning in a very robust way to ground zero.

While much of the world’s news media focused on the issue of a mosque near ground zero, a week ago construction cranes hoisted 16 of 400 oak trees onto what will become the plaza of the 9/11 Memorial. Around the 17-acre site, 2,000 hard hats are bent over tasks such as riveting and pouring concrete. One of the giant new towers, which will be 106 stories high, is up to the 36th floor. Officials are keeping their fingers crossed that publisher Conde Nast will soon sign on the dotted line to lease 1 million square feet of space there for its magazine empire.

“So, yes, there is life at ground zero,” said New York Gov. David Paterson on Sept. 7, at a press conference to talk about the progress at the site.

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