By Bill Parry
A raucous Democratic National Convention turned somber around 9:11 p.m. Tuesday as a trio of speakers remembered the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center and Hillary Clinton’s response as one of New York’s senators. U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) stepped to the microphone and recalled getting the news on a runway at LaGuardia Airport.
“I raced out of the terminal,” Crowley said. “I tried calling my two cousins, both members of the New York City Fire Department. We had grown up together in working-class Queens, New York.”
One survived, but Battalion Chief John Moran and 342 missing firefighters did not. On Sept. 12, Crowley stood at Ground Zero.
“The weight of his loss felt heavy,” Crowley said. “But there beside me that day was Hillary Clinton. She understood the pain my family, our city, our nation were under. She fought to help our city rebuild. And she delivered.”
Clinton secured $20 billion in emergency funding to help the city recover and she worked for almost a decade “and she was there with us when the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was finally passed,” Crowley said.
Donald Trump was not and Crowley accused him of making money off the attacks.
“Where was Trump in the days and months and years after 9/11?” Crowley asked. “He didn’t stand at the pile. He didn’t lobby Congress for help. He didn’t fight for the first responders. Nope. He cashed in — collecting $150,000 in federal funds intended to help small businesses recover—even though days after the attack Trump said his properties were not affected. It was one of our nation’s darkest days, but to Trump, it was just another chance to make a quick buck.”
Politifact rated Crowley’s claim Half True. Trump did receive a grant for his building at 40 Wall Street, which was less than a mile away from the Trade Center, but the property was eligible under the grant criteria, they said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr