Romney banner affixed atop Willis Tower

Oct. 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM
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CHICAGO, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The 74-year-old ironworker who installed the ABC antenna atop Chicago's Willis Tower said he affixed a Mitt Romney banner 110 stories above the ground.

John Rukavina, a 60-year ironworker who said he has put up "every antenna and tower in Chicago since Marina Towers in 1974," said he put the Romney banner and a U.S. flag on the ABC antenna moments after completing its installation Sept. 30, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

Rukavina said putting up a U.S. flag is a custom among ironworkers.

"I promised my sister, Anna, a year ago I would use the burial flag of her husband, a World War II Navy veteran, when we topped off the antenna," Rukavina said.

"But I didn't tell anyone I was going to put up the Romney poster. I did that on my own and it was hard going. The wind was blowing like crazy that day," he said. "But I wanted to make that gesture the last thing I did."

"Hey, I'd jump off a building to get Romney elected," he said.

The stunt was filmed by Stephen Brown, who is the son of a Rukavina friend and is filming a documentary titled "Cowboys of the Sky" about the ironworker's antenna installations on some of the country's tallest buildings.

"He had no idea I was going to put up that poster," Rukavina said. "But I had to take everything down because it's my responsibility to make sure no one gets hurt and the wind could have ripped it loose."

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