Ilhan Omar recounts ‘complete horror’ of 9/11 attacks in somber video
Lightning-rod Rep. Ilhan Omar — who previously sparked outrage with a comment minimizing the 9/11 terror attacks — posted a somber video on Twitter Wednesday commemorating the anniversary and recounting the “complete horror” she and her family felt following the terror attacks.
“On September 11th we experienced one of the most horrific terrorist attacks that we have ever lived through as a nation. Today, we remember the victims, the first responders and their loved ones. #Neverforget,” the Minnesota Democrat wrote on the post, which included the nearly minute-long video.
“I was 18 years old when that happened. I was in a classroom in college and I remember rushing home after being dismissed and getting home and seeing my father in complete horror as he sat in front of that TV. And I remember just feeling, like the world was ending,” said Omar, who along with Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib are the only two Muslim women in Congress.
“The events of 9/11 were life changing, life altering for all of us,” she said. “My feeling around it is one of complete horror. None of us are ever going to forget that day and the trauma that we will always have to live with.”
Omar’s video contrasted sharply with a statement she made in March about the attacks, which she described only as “some people did something.”
The remark sparked widespread outrage and condemnation from critics from the right and left, who accused her of minimizing the atrocity, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed by 19 al Qaeda terrorists.
Omar and her defenders at the time said her remarks had been taken out of context, and that she was calling for Muslim activism days after a white nationalist attacked two New Zealand mosques, killing 50 people.
Tlaib also weighed in on the anniversary with a statement on Twitter.
“I will never forget 9/11. I was working at a non-profit Arab American organization, ACCESS, while in law school. My day started like any other, until I heard gasps from my co-workers in the lunch room. I rushed in and saw faces of shock facing the television,” she wrote.
“Then we saw a plane hit the second tower and the room erupted in tears and heartbreak. Our country was being attacked.”
She said that soon the organization’s phones were swamped with threats of violence.
“Still, our communities came together to mourn, to stand in solidarity with our fellow Americans across the country to reject the hate and terror that comes from it,” she continued.
“As we remember all of the lives lost from that horrific attack 18 years ago today, let us remember to not allow this type of violence to divide us, but to stand united. We are stronger together.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who was 11 when the hijacked planes struck the Twin Towers, retweeted a video posted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showing lawmakers observing a moment of silence in Washington.
Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, the fourth member of the self-described “Squad,” had not posted about 9/11 on her Twitter account or official website.
Also Wednesday, a man whose mother was killed on 9/11 attacked the four Democratic congresswomen at a ceremony at Ground Zero to remember those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“‘Some people did something,’ said a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota,” said Nicholas Haros Jr., wearing a black T-shirt with Omar’s words: “Some people did something?”
“Today I am here to tell you exactly who did what to whom. We know objectively, there is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?” he continued.
“Our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles were attacked. That’s what some people did! Got that now? We are here today, Congresswoman, to tell you and the Squad just who did what to whom. Show respect in honoring them, please. American patriotism and your position demand it.”
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