Dear [Insert Name of 9/11 Family]


President Obama will speak from Ground Zero today.  Who won’t be there?

Well, George Bush, for starters.  He declined an invitation to appear, for reasons he has politely kept to himself.  Barack Obama is especially shameful at using political opponents as props and punching bags at big events – just ask Paul Ryan.  That might have been a factor in the former President’s decision to sit this one out.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel tells us of another Obama invitation to the event which has been declined.  Jan and John Vigiano of Deer Park, Long Island, who lost both of their sons on 9/11, were asked to attend, along with forty-nine other families whose loved ones were murdered on that terrible day.  Their son John Jr. was a New York City firefighter, while his younger brother Joe was an emergency services detective.

They said “no” because the invitation was a form letter.

They even read it out loud on camera for a local TV news station.


“It says ‘Dear 9/11 family member’ – no names,” said John Vigiano.  “I don’t know if it’s disrespectful, but it doesn’t work for me.”

He added, “I’m honored the President of the United States is coming to New York.  To me, it’s just going to be a photo op.” 

Mr. Vigiano got a phone call from the White House today apologizing for the slight, and says he accepts the apology.  Monica Morales, who reported the story, got an email from the White House that said if the “personal touch” did not come across, “it was only as a result of technological and time constrictions in pulling together such an important discussion on such short notice.”

Sure.  All the time in the world for golf.  All the time in the world for endless fund-raisers.  No time to work with the huge White House staff to produce fifty personalized invitations for the 9/11 families he so obviously sees as empty props to be deployed during his big Ground Zero campaign appearance.  And who is he to decide that only fifty families belong there?  Why has he never visited the site before today?  It’s not as if he never gets to New York.  He was there for fund-raisers on the day after he finally addressed the nation about his war in Libya, a week after he launched it.

The most out-of-touch, incompetent President of our lifetimes stumbles on.