9/11 family members who lost dads in attacks slam Biden's 'betrayal'

Two 9/11 family members who lost their fathers in attacks slam Biden’s ‘betrayal’ for marking anniversary in Alaska: Tell America ‘never forget’

  • Matt Bochi and Brett Eagleson both lost their fathers in New York on 9/11
  • They have condemned Biden’s move to mark the anniversary in Alaska 
  • The White House sent Kamala Harris in his place for Ground Zero ceremony 

When Matt Bocchi was eight years old, he pressed his nose against the glass windows of the 105th-floor offices of Cantor Fitzgerald and stared across the Manhattan skyline.

He was 1,200 feet up in the World Trade Center at his father John’s work Christmas party with his younger brother Nick and felt the building start to sway in the wind.

Nine months later, his father was standing in the same office in the North Tower when one of the planes hit – and he didn’t make it out.

Twenty-two years on, he and the families of the 2,977 victims taken by the terrorist hijackers are mourning on the anniversary.

The world is remembering where they were when they saw the images of the jets and the towering infernos in lower Manhattan.

However, Joe Biden is marking the anniversary in Alaska on his way back from Vietnam, where he conducted a rambling press conference and finished it by saying he was ‘going to bed’. 

The break from tradition has sparked a furious backlash from relatives who call it a ‘betrayal’ and a ‘slap in the face’.

Matt Bocchi (right) as a child with his father John who died on 9/11. He has criticized Biden’s decision not to attend a ceremony at one of the three crash sites

Biden is the first president not to be at one of the three 9/11 crash sites for the anniversary.

Instead, the White House sent Vice President Kamala Harris to New York for this year’s Ground Zero ceremony. Ron DeSantis – who the families invited –  was also in attendance.

The White House have defended the move as Biden will be on U.S. soil. First Lady Jill Biden is also laying a wreath at the Pentagon. 

But Bocchi and another American who lost his father on 9/11, Brett Eagleson, have criticized Biden’s decision to skip the ceremony.

Their anger is compounded by Biden meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 in India last week – while any files linking the kingdom to the attack remain classified.

Images of the two men shaking hands raised questions about Biden’s motives, Bocchi told Dailymail.com. 

Since Biden called the Crown Prince a ‘pariah’ he has backtracked and that made Bocchi wonder if the president backs the ‘entirety’ of the 9/11 families.  

The families have also questioned why five of the alleged 9/11 plotters detained in Guantanamo Bay were offered a plea deal to spare them the death penalty.

Last week the president rejected parts of the agreement, but the prospect of a plea deal has sparked fury from the families looking for justice.

For Bocchi, Biden’s decision to be in Alaska is a sign that the government they have pressured for two decades will let the attacks slip away from memory.

Bocchi’s father John was in the North Tower when one of the planes hit. He helped his co-workers get to safety, but he couldn’t get out in time

He told DailyMail.com: ‘It seems like it’s just another betrayal’.

Bocchi questions why Biden offered the Guantanamo detainees a plea deal in the first place and wonders why there is even a consideration for them to avoid the death penalty.

‘It’s just a massive slap in the face. I think it’s probably one of least patriotic moves a president could ever make.

‘I’d argue that he doesn’t want to come to any of the 9/11 sites because he is afraid.

‘He’s afraid of what the 9/11 families will think or what he will say. It’s another step in avoiding the situation.  He says their legacies need to live on. 

For 22 years, the 9/11 families have been pushing each White House for answers. 

They have called for any evidence of Saudi Arabia’s involvement to be declassified – and have been asking for help with getting compensation.

Payouts for survivors and support for victims’ relatives have been held up in endless legal battles. 

The relatives have also had to deal with their ongoing grief, and every year is a reminder of how that horrifying day played out.

Bocchi was pulled out of his fourth-grade classroom in Harding Township Elementary in New Jersey.

He went home and waited for a call from his father that never came. 

Biden shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the G20 summit in New Delhi on Saturday. 9/11 families have been pushing for the release of any documents on the kingdom’s involvement in the attacks

Later, he tracked down his father’s last moments in a stairwell, and spent hours obsessing over videos of people jumping from the towers as the flames rose, and reading blogs about 9/11.

He battled drug and alcohol abuse but has now been sober for eight years and tells his story of resilience to high school students around the country. 

He also wrote Sway, the first memoir by a child of one of the attack victims.

‘I live my life in a much more positive way now. I’m no longer thinking about 9/11 and in such a negative light.’

Bocchi battled drug and alcohol abuse but has now been sober for eight years and tells his story of resilience to high school students around the country. He also wrote Sway , the first memoir by a child of one of the attack victims

He will never forget his father, and took comfort in the fact that the country came together in the aftermath.

The bid to find the terrorists responsible unified the nation. 

Bocchi says the U.S. is more divided than he can remember, and he’s worried 9/11 will slip from the public conscience. 

‘Unfortunately, the reality is people are going to forget slowly.’ 

For him, Americans will eventually only talk about the horrors of the day of the attack and 9/11 will ‘become a noun’.

The devastating consequences and the impact on society will become a distant memory.

He says Biden is pivotal in ensuring the significance of the day perseveres, and marking the anniversary in Alaska is a ‘slap in the face’. 

‘(Americans) will think about it briefly in the morning.

‘We need a leader who will make it important that the people murdered on American soil will not be forgotten,’ he said. 

Bocchi says Donald Trump’s involvement in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tournament has continued to frustrate him.

What angered him most was when he held a tournament at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club – close to where so many 9/11 victims lived and where the families still reside today. 

Eagleson has been a staunch advocate for the 9/11 families since he lost his father in the South Tower. He was just 15 years old when he got the news.

Brett Eagleson speaking in Washington in 2021/. He also lost his father in the Twin Towers

Eagleson has been a staunch advocate for the 9/11 families since he lost his father in the South Tower. He was 15 years old 

He has slammed the potential plea deal for the suspected plotters and has pressured the federal government to declassify any Saudi files.

And the decision for Biden to be at the ‘furthest geographical point’ away from any of the crash sites is ‘egregious’, he says. 

‘He’s choosing to schedule a trip to Vietnam rather than heading back a little bit early to be at one of the three crash sites. 

‘It’s the first time in 22 years, and it’s the highest form of disrespect that we’ve ever received from a sitting president.’

He also accused the president of ‘ignoring’ the families, and staying away ‘doesn’t send the greatest of signals’. 

‘He wanted to hear about our struggle with the federal government and how administration after administration has failed us. 

‘I’m not hopeful that the administration is even hearing us on this issue,’ he told DailyMail.com, referring to the plea deals and the Saudi documents. 

Eagleson has found a staunch advocate in Republican presidential hopeful DeSantis and his wife Casey.

Florida’s first couple invited them to the governor’s mansion on Memorial Day to hear their stories and learn about their fight for the truth.

Casey DeSantis host families of 9/11 victims for Memorial Day barbecue

Ron DeSantis hosts families of 9/11 victims for Memorial Day barbecue

‘He wanted to hear about our fight for transparency and the truth, and he wanted to hear about the role the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played in killing our loved ones.

The families spoke to him for over an hour, and Eagleson says DeSantis listened to all of them 

‘I think he understood our pain. He understood our suffering. It was a very positive meeting. 

‘The governor seemed very willing to help us in any capacity, not just as a presidential candidate, but as a governor of Florida.’

Eagelson has vowed to keep fighting for answers that may give thousands some form of closure.

But events that turned a sunny September morning into darkness and the carnage that unfolded will be ingrained in history. 

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