AP Photo/Mark Lennihan\r\n
Work continues at the National September 11 Memorial, top, and at the World Trade Center site, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 in New York. Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

NEW YORK CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday it's solemn and humbling to see ground zero as the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks nears.

The governor, in New York City to meet with American Express and other companies looking to expand in Utah, described the sight to KSL NewsRadio's Doug Wright during a broadcast from the east coast city.

"It's a solemn thing to look and see where these great, big twin towers were and now there's nothing," Herbert said. "It's humbling, I think for all of us. But it brings also a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving for what we stand for in America."

Herbert said it's important to take time to remember and reflect on the events of 9/11 and the actions taken by the nation in response.

"I think we're a stronger nation on many levels than we were 10 years ago," the governor said. "So out of tragedy comes good things. I think we need to emphasize the good things that are coming out of it."

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He said he has a great appreciation for the resiliency of New Yorkers who have stayed strong enough to "spit in your eye" and say, "'Don't get me down.'"

Saying they exemplify the American spirit, the governor said no one should ever "mistake freedom and liberty, which we have in America for weakness. Because we are going to fight for freedom and liberty."

Herbert said he is "proud of our American spirit and I think it's on display. That's the silver lining to the cloud that we will celebrate here in remembrance."

Lisa Riley Roche, Twitter: dnewspolitics