Pelosi panned for ‘people do what they do’ shrug after vandals cut down 9-11 firefighter memorial

A vandalized 9/11 memorial brought renewed condemnation of comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissing the destruction of statues and property across the nation.

A report that vandals had cut down a flag pole in New York that was set up to honor firefighters who died in the 2001 terrorist attack sparked backlash against Pelosi who declared Thursday that “people will do what they do” when asked about the attacks on statues in the nation.

Police in New York are investigating the damage to the display in Washingtonville, north of New York City, after it was discovered that vandals cut down the flagpole in the memorial honoring four firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, according to the Times-Herald Record.

A tool was used to sever the pole about five feet from the base, according to Washingtonville Police Chief Brian Zaccaro. A message, which police have not revealed, was written on the part of the pole left standing and an eagle figure that was originally on the top of the flagpole was found about a half-mile away at St. Mary’s Parish Center, where a sign had been knocked over.

“These two locations mean so much to Washingtonville and the larger community,” New York State Assemblyman Colin Schmitt said in a press release.

A $3,000 reward is being offered for information about the vandalism and those responsible, as Washingtonville Mayor Joseph Bucco promised the village would be replacing the damaged flagpole, the Times-Herald Record reported.

Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted Pelsoi’s quote along with a link to a story about the destruction of the memorial which honors members of the New York City Fire Department who lost their lives, including Mark Whitford, Bobby Hamilton, Gerry Nevins, Batallion Chief Dennis Devlin, and Lt. Glenn Perry.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy slammed Pelosi in a rebuke on Twitter, accusing her of being “complicit with criminal activity.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s job is to write laws. Instead, she encourages mobs to break them,” The California Republican wrote, adding the video of the remarks.

Asked during her Thursday press conference about the toppling of a statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore, Pelosi declared that she is “not one of those people who is wedded to a, ‘Oh, a statue of somebody someplace is an important thing.’”

“I don’t – again, if the community doesn’t want the statue, the statue shouldn’t be there,” she added.

The Columbus statue had been placed near Baltimore’s “Little Italy” neighborhood in 1984. On Saturday, destructive protesters toppled the statue and tossed it into the Inner Harbor. But Pelosi did not seem bothered, claiming on Thursday that the act did not “diminish my pride in my Italian American heritage and the fact that it was a country discovered by an Italian and named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci.”

“So I have that pride, but I don’t care that much about statues,” the California Democrat, who was born in Baltimore, Maryland, said.

Asked by a reporter whether she thought a decision to remove a statue should be made by a commission or a city council and “not by a mob in the middle of the night,” Pelosi responded by saying that “people will do what they do.”

“It’s a – I do think that, from a safety standpoint, it would be a good idea to have it taken down if the community doesn’t want it. I don’t know that it has to be a commission, but it just could be a community view,” she added.

The congresswoman, who has also called for the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol, has been silent on her own father, Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., who was mayor of Baltimore in 1948 when he oversaw the dedication of a the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument in Wyman Park. That statue was removed by order of the city council in 2017.

Pelosi said Thursday that it’s “very important that we take down any of the statues of people who committed treason against the United States of America as those statues exist in the Congress, in the halls of Congress, in the Rotunda – not the Rotunda, I don’t think, but in the Statuary Hall, and the rest, where many – some of them are.”

Her remarks drew heated backlash from many lawmakers and others.

North Carolina GOP Rep. Virgina Foxx condemned Pelosi’s idea of leadership as “an absolute disgrace”

“Absolutely shameful. Violent far-left mobs across the country are undermining the rule of law,” Rep. James Comer of Kentucky tweeted. “Members of the people’s house should be condemning mob rule, not excusing it.”

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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