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Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke briefly this morning outside of the World Trade Center memorial in Lower Manhattan following a motorcycle tribute ride with performer Billy Joel and Orange County Choppers star Paul Teutul, Jr.

In the speech, Cuomo marveled at the change at the site, where the new 1 World Trade skyscrapper will officially open next year after nearly a decade of delay.

But he added much of the site remains frozen in time from 12 years ago today.

“Physically there’s been much progress. The stunning memorial that has been built, office buildings that have been builty, freedom Tower now an international symbol of New York’s resilience and of democracy,” Cuomo said. ”But despite the billions spent, despite all the years of construction, some things remain the same and some things should remain the same on this site. The reality is this is the site that witnessed the worst of humanity and almost at the same moment the best of humanity.”

The prepared remarks mainly praised first responders and did not run longer than four minutes.

Typically elected officials often stick to reading Bible verses or even the Gettysburg address on the anniversary of the attacks at the actual site itself.

“They proved to the world that strength and courage will always conquer weakness and cowardice,” Cuomo said of the emergency personnel who responded to the attacks. ”That duty and honor and service are paramount. They are words to live by and yes, they are words to die by and that the American spirit defended by proud New Yorkers will not be defeated.”