9/11 Victims' Families 'Insulted, Speechless' Over Harris Comparing Capitol Riot to al-Qaeda Attack
09:57 GMT 08.01.2022 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, which claimed the lives of at least 2,977 people, and injured more than 6,000 others.
Some survivors and families of the 9/11 victims have lashed out at US Vice President Kamala Harris
over her comparing the al-Qaeda* terrorist attacks to last year's Capitol riot and the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbour.
They included 61-year-old Mary Geraghty, whose husband, New York City Fire Department Battalion Chief Edward Geraghty, died during the attacks.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said that she was "still speechless that our vice president would make that comment".
"There were terrorists that came onto American soil and slaughtered American citizens. There is absolutely no comparison. Insult is too mild a word", Geraghty said.
According to her, "you can't expect much from someone who is so out of touch".
The widow was echoed by Angela Mistruli, who lost her father, a union carpenter working at the top of the North Tower restaurant during the al-Qaeda attacks on 11 September 2001. She told the Daily Mail that she doesn't like "bringing 9/11 into political conversation" and that she doesn't believe "the people on 6 January went there with the intent of harming anyone".
Retired Fire Captain Anthony Varriale, for his part, insisted that "it's embarrassing that she's [Kamala Harris] the vice president of the United States. It's like a knife to my gut. I think she should resign".
The same tone was struck by Gail Eagelson, whose husband Bruce died in the South Tower of the World Trade Centre after making sure that 18 co-workers made it out safely.
She told the Daily Mail that she "really" doesn't have respect for Harris, "so I don't listen to what she says".
"What is it? Seven people died at the Capitol, and that's unfortunate, but how can you compare that to 9/11", Eagelson said.
Also joining the uproar was Meghan McCain, a political analyst and daughter of late US Senator John McCain, who claimed in her article for the Daily Mail that the Capitol riot "was not a terrorist attack that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans".
She added that she was "absolutely disgusted that Vice President Harris would make such an intellectually dishonest comparison to our nation's history".
"January 6th is NOT the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is not 9/11. It is disrespectful to all our veterans, alive and dead, to say so. […] There is no comparison between the wars that brave Americans have fought and died in to the riotous attack on the Capitol. It's not just wrong. It's stupid. Harris' ridiculous hyperbole is going to play into the hands of [former] President Trump", Meghan McCain claimed without elaborating.
The comments came after Kamala Harris claimed in a speech at the Capitol that "certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were and what they were doing, when our democracy came under assault. 7 December 1941, 11 September 2001, and 6 January 2021".
26 October 2021, 11:16 GMT
On 6 January 2021, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC
, to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes in favour of Democrat Joe Biden, in a riot that claimed the lives of five people.
In total, almost 3,000 persons were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack, while the bombing of Pearl Harbour claimed the lives of 2,403 Americans.
*Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other nations.