Giuliani: New York's 'Finest Hour'

Giuliani: When I went through prostate cancer, I was, therefore, a changed man. I changed for a while, then I went back to the way I was. I don't know if you really change. I think you grow. I don't think I'd be able to handle this at all if it weren't for the things that happened to me in my past. You keep growing, you keep changing, you keep, hopefully, expanding. And I haven't had the time in less than a week that's gone by to actually figure out about changing. I'm just doing what I think I have to do to try to get the city through this and participate in helping to get the country through it.

Our Finest Hour

Walters: Is this your finest hour? Your finest time?

Giuliani: I don't know. It's my most difficult time … I have no doubt that it's the finest hour for the city of New York … I have no question about that. I think that it's its worst hour and its finest hour. And I have no doubt that the city's going to build on that strength that it's acquired from this and be even a much greater city in the future than it's been in the past.

Walters: There are countries and people who've said America brought this on themselves. We were too materialistic. We were too greedy. You've heard this. What do you say?

Giuliani: America is the greatest nation in the history of the world. There's nothing like America. Sometimes we get down on ourselves too much. We criticize ourselves too much. I don't think we realize how good we are. I think the people who want to come here realize how good we are. This is the only country millions of people want to come to in the whole world. That's got to tell us something about ourselves. Tell us something about what a wonderful country this is, what a great form of government we have, what good people we are. And maybe I feel that more than most because I'm the mayor of New York City also. This is place that immigrants keep coming to all the time, like my grandparents came here. And they want to come here from all over the world. There's no place that is as desirable to be as the United States of America. That may create some of the jealousy, it may create some of the misunderstanding, it may create some of the anger. But that's not our fault. This is a great, great country and we should stop being so darn critical of ourselves. We have too many elements in our society to try to rip down America. I worry about that for young people. To be able to defend democracy, you have to understand the value of democracy. You have to understand it is a very unique gift we've been given to be Americans. And this is an absolutely beautiful country. I mean it's a great country, and I think people are going see that now, and it's also a country that is capable of defending itself. We have a history in which we never sought annexing other lands or taking away other people's freedoms. We've only fought when we've had to defend ourselves. And then when we had to fight, we've been overpowering. And I'm sure that this generation is going be able to accomplish exactly the same thing.

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