A man whose mother died 17 years ago in the 9/11 terrorist attacks admonished Democratic lawmakers to stop “using the ashes of our loved ones as props in your political theater” during the remembrance ceremony Tuesday at the Ground Zero memorial site.
“Stop. Please. Stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as props in your political theater,” said Nicholas Haros Jr. (shown above, at right) whose 76-year-old mother, Frances, died during the attacks on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in 2001.
“Their lives, sacrifices and deaths are worth so much more. Let’s not trivialize them or us. It hurts,” Haros added. “To my mom and to all of you and your loved ones, never forget.”
Haros was one of several ceremony participants who read the New York victims’ names aloud. Nearly 3,000 total victims died in the attacks.
After honoring his mother — who was “no one that would stick out in a crowd” if not “for her acts of love” — Haros turned his attention toward the politicization of the 9/11 tragedy.
“This year, a representative of the House referred to our loss as just another ‘incident,'” Haros said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) received criticism in July after she called the 9/11 tragedy an “incident” during her comments about border security.
“In fact, I said to some of you before, when we had the 9/11 incident and the commission was formed — and they made their recommendations — they made recommendations to protect America, but the Republicans would never take them up. And some of it was about our borders. The Republicans would never take them up,” Pelosi told reporters.
Haros moved on, saying, “This year, a network commentator said the president’s performance in Helsinki was a traitorous act, as was 9/11.”
President Donald Trump fielded bipartisan backlash after he appeared at a controversial summit in Helsinki, Finland, alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin in July.
During a press conference with Putin, Trump said he held “both countries responsible” for Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because “we’re all to blame.” Trump also said that while he has “great confidence in my intelligence people,” he believed Putin “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial” of Russian interference.
Trump issued several corrections and clarifications following the national uproar. But former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks compared Trump’s Helsinki summit to 9/11 during an interview on MSNBC, saying, “It’s just as serious to me as the Cuban missile crisis in terms of an attack or the 9/11 attack.”
“And last week a senator attacked the Supreme Court nominee and called him a racist for alleged comments after 9/11. Stop,” Haros added.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh last week, during his confirmation hearing, of engaging in racial profiling in the aftermath of 9/11.
The irony of it all was that the documents Booker released showed Kavanaugh having written in a 2002 email that he “generally” favored race-neutral measures, while addressing the “interim question of what to do before a truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented.”
“I am going to release the email about racial profiling and I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate,” Booker said. “This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment.”
But the email Booker released already had been cleared for public disclosure prior to his theatrics during the hearing.