Obama in New York: 'We Mean What We Say'

The president's brief address to firefighters on the way to Ground Zero

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The president laid a wreath at New York's Ground Zero today, in a quiet ceremony (video below). On his way, Obama and Rudy Giuliani met with firefighters at a Midtown, New York firehouse that lost 15 men in the September 11th terror attacks. In his brief address, the president framed the events of 9/11 and the killing of Osama bin Laden by affirming "when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say; that our commitment to making sure that justice is done is something that transcended politics, transcended party" (full statement here).

Even before his carefully calibrated trip began, the president received flack from at least one 9/11 victims family who passed on a chance to meet the president.  John Vigiano, who was the father of two firefighters who died at the World Trade Center told WPIX he was unhappy with the email invitation he received. "It says 'Dear 9/11 family member,' — no names," he said. "I don't know if its disrespectful, but it doesn't work for me." Jeannie Evans, who lost her firefighter brother in the attack, cited Obama's decision not to show the corpse of bin Laden as her reason not to go:

Evans says she will probably watch Obama's visit on television but wishes she could ask him a few questions.

"Why not show us proof, that Bin Laden was killed? I would like to see that," wondered Evans.

Obama laying a wreath at Ground Zero:

Photo by Getty Images

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.