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Political Play of the Week

Ground Zero crews proved: This will not break us

By Bill Schneider
CNN Sr. Political Analyst

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After a terrorist attack, Israel follows a policy of rapid recovery: All traces of the deadly assault are obliterated as quickly as possible.

The purpose is to communicate this political message: This will not break us. We will go on as before.

Now consider the cleanup of the World Trade Center, which ended this week.

The statistics are staggering: It took 3 million hours of labor, using 200 to 300 union workers at a time -- carpenters, dock workers, Teamsters and iron workers -- working 24 hours a day to remove 1.8 million tons of debris.

A project that was originally estimated to take a year ended up taking eight-and-a-half months.

The original estimate of the cost: $7 billion.

The final cost: less than $1 billion.

When was the last time you heard of a government project costing less money and taking less time than the original estimate?

The workers and the city of New York have made a political statement: This will not break us. We will go on as before.

The inspiring men and women who lead the recovery efforts at Ground Zero are this week's winners of the political Play of the Week.




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