“You look at Larry Silverstein, who’s a terrific owner in New York and a very good friend of mine who I just called. I was very worried about him, because I assumed maybe he was in the building. … Larry Silverstein is a great guy, he’s a good guy, he’s a friend of mine.” — Donald Trump

Real Estate Weekly, December 12, 2001:

The 91st Anniversary of the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York was celebrated at a rather somber and respectful Dinner Dance this year. In addition to recognizing the 91st Anniversary of ABO, the Board of Directors continued its annual event, but dedicated the income to honor the victims of the September 11 World Trade Center Attack.

The ABO honored key industry leaders in appropriate and respectful ceremonies recognizing the real estate leaders whose future tasks will encompass the rebuilding of the mosaic that was the strength of the New York City financial district.

Especially meaningful, Larry Silverstein received the 2001 Fred C. Trump Award for lifetime achievement, which award was presented by Donald Trump who stated:

“Honoring Larry this evening after the tragic September 11 event places great significance to the Trump family and the entire real estate industry. Larry is a very special talented gentleman. His is a wonderful family and we are honored to recognize your rare and special achievements.”

On receiving the award, Larry Silverstein received a three minute standing ovation, and in responding, vowed to rebuild the World Trade Center.

“In five years, with cooperation of all of the Agencies involved, we can get it all done. I am going to dedicate myself and the organization to seeing to it that we will overcome and not merely preserve but win this terrible battle against terrorism”, he stated.

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/ABO+Remembers+September+11+at+Tile+Dinner+Dance.-a081139629

Donald Trump makes his proposal for WTC site, Associated Press, July 21, 2015