Vice President Joe Biden helped unveil a 16-foot-tall bronze statue Friday that was created to honor U.S. Army Special Forces who fought in Afghanistan against the Taliban after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
At a ceremony to mark Veterans Day, Biden, joined by his wife along with veterans and their families, called the special forces "part and parcel of the greatest group of warriors the world has ever seen."
"There has never in history been a greater group -- a more lethal group, a better trained group, a more cohesive group -- than the 9/11 generation," he said.
The statue, by artist Douwe Blumberg, was unveiled at the World Financial Center, where it will remain temporarily until it moves to a permanent location near the World Trade Center site.
Earlier in the afternoon, Biden paid a visit to the 9/11 memorial, accompanied by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum President Joe Daniels and others. He touched the name panels surrounding the north reflecting pool and looked into the waterfall.
Biden said he remembered going to the site shortly after terrorists piloted hijacked planes and crashed them into twin towers.
"I remember thinking, `This is what Dante must have been talking about, about the gates of hell,' the way it looked," he said.
He said the memorial was impressive.
"Not only breathtaking, it gives it a depth, a depth that tells you it just goes on and on," he said.
Biden then went to another side of the pool to look at the name of a victim from Delaware, where he was a U.S. senator for 36 years. The victim, Robert David Peraza, was a trader with Cantor Fitzgerald.
At the opening of the memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks this year, Peraza's father was photographed kneeling to touch the bronze panel inscribed with his name.
Copyright Associated Press