9/11 memorials are a reminder of how far the country has fallen

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On the 20th anniversary of 9/11 Saturday night, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, his NYPD commissioner of the day, Bernie Kerik, members of SEAL Team Six that killed Osama bin Laden, and other veterans of the war on terror gathered at Cipriani Wall Street for a night of bittersweet memories. There were tributes to the fallen and a celebration of the “largest evacuation” in US history, with 25,000 people saved from the Twin Towers, thanks to the selfless courage of the first responders. Giuliani praised the NYPD as “the best law enforcement agency in the world” and gave an entertaining speech full of impersonations of mobsters he has locked up and even one of the Queen. “You did a wonderful job on September 11,” he mimicked the British monarch in a posh accent. Nasty trolls on Twitter who were not at Cipriani described the speech as a drunken rant. They couldn’t have been more wrong, but it shows the depths to which haters will stoop to besmirch what was a beautiful night for the heroes of 9/11 just blocks from “the first battleground in the last 20-year war on terror,” as Kerik put it. Feelings were raw just two weeks after President Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. The city that said it would never forget its 9/11 heroes had spent 18 months demonizing the NYPD. And Nancy Pelosi had taken Giuliani’s usual spot in the front row at the Ground Zero memorial Saturday morning, a sign of the disrespect now heaped on the former mayor. What was the divisive House speaker from San Francisco doing on hallowed ground, anyway? Not for nothing is she the most despised politician in the country, although judging by the “F–k Joe Biden” meme catching on across the country, the president is following in her tottering footsteps. This year of all years, it was jarring to see out-of-state leaders of the party that campaigned on “Defund the Police” elbowing aside heroes of that day to stand in posed solemnity as the names of the fallen were read aloud at Ground Zero. They may as well have spat on the graves.

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