Rep. Ilhan Omar’s downplaying of the Sept. 11 attacks as “some people did something” upset and angered many Americans, but likely none more than Jim Riches.
Riches, the father of a heroic firefighter who lost his life in the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, is now demanding Omar apologize for her flippant dismissal of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history.
Speaking Tuesday at an annual GOP gala in Manhattan, Riches tore into the congresswoman and those other lawmakers who refused to condemn her, according to the New York Post.
He was particularly scornful of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. Both are New York Democrats.
“They can’t deal with reality — Schumer, Nadler, all the New York politicians were quiet,” Riches said. “They didn’t say one thing.”
“She owes us an apology,” Riches said. “And we are going to get it.”
‘She owes us an apology and we are going to get it’ – Retired FDNY Deputy Chief, Jim Riches https://t.co/2utwBamaCX
— NYC EMS Watch (@NYCEMSwatch) April 17, 2019
Riches also said that he supports a video tweeted by President Donald Trump. The video, which splices Omar’s speech with harrowing footage of the 9/11 attacks, went viral late last week.
“He told it like it was. That is what happened that day,” Riches said, according to the Post. “Donald Trump is 100 percent right.”
And if anyone knows about the mind-numbing carnage of that day, it’s Jim Riches.
In an opinion piece he wrote for the Post earlier this month, he gives a gut-wrenching, firsthand account of the toll the attacks took on him and his family.
“On 9/11/01 my son, firefighter Jimmy Riches was murdered along with close to 3,000 American citizens by Muslim terrorists,” Jim wrote.
He described rushing to his son’s station after the towers fell, and upon seeing an empty truck bay, the crushing realization of where everybody was.
Riches then made his way to Ground Zero.
“When I got there, I saw the death and destruction — people lying there dead and mangled. We picked up the bodies and saw how gruesome it was. Those people died a horrible death.”
After time, the rescue missions in the rubble turned to recovery efforts. For months, Jim and others searched the scorched remnants of the towers for human remains, although the attacks were so violent that often only fragments of a person remained.
Six grueling months after 9/11, Jim Riches’ son was found.
“He was at the North Tower. We got to bury him. People talk about closure, but that’s not closure,” Riches wrote. “I’ll never get closure until my son walks through that door again.”
Riches closed his piece with a call against the lawmaker who downplayed the greatest tragedy in American history.
“Until the time that you realize the importance of 9/11 as the worst day in American history,” he wrote, “I call for your removal from Congress.”
Mr. Riches, I couldn’t agree more.
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