continued “The United States of American was the greatest nation in the world before 9/11. The United States of America is the greatest nation in the world 10 years after that dastardly attack and the United States of America will always be the greatest nation in the world,” said Tedisco to a rousing applause from attendees.
Earlier, Koetzle shared a personal anecdote about how his grandmother died shortly after 9/11 and was worried about the country following the attacks.
“At times like these I think of my grandmother, who died just three months after the attacks. I recall that she died worried about a country that she loved so much and she left this world not knowing how this chapter would unfold,” said Koetzle.
Koetzle said he also thinks of his children when recalling the tragedy. His youngest daughter, he said, was born two months before the fateful day, so she doesn’t know exactly how “the story” started. He said we all know how it ends.
“We all know as Americans how this chapter will end; the same way they all do in the great American story — with victory.” said Koetzle. “We are a people that will not be defeated, not by fear, not by terror and not by tyrants.”
Closing the ceremony was Steven Cafiero reading a poem he wrote about 9/11. His son, Steven Cafiero Jr., died inside the World Trade Center.
“This is not an easy thing for me to do, but I am going to do the best I can,” said Cafiero. “Please bear with me and if I cry I have every right to.”
Cafiero’s poem ended with the emotional line, “Sept. 11, 2001, is also the day I lost my own son.”