A visibly emotional Pataki choked up Tuesday during his final visit to Ground Zero before he leaves office, the New York Daily News.
The ceremony marked the installation of the first 25-ton steel column of the future Freedom Towe. The column was eased into place after being signed by scores of relatives of those killed when the World Trade Center towers collapsed in 2001.
The Daily News said after Pataki thanked Mayor Mike Bloomberg and others for their rebuilding efforts, he turned to speak to Port Authority Commissioner Christy Ferer, whose husband, former agency Executive Director Neil Levin, was among those lost and said, "Christy, we build this for Neil."
Afterward, the governor told reporters the day had been emotionally draining.
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