Although James Gadiel was just 23 years old, he was a young man with promise. Hailing from the small town of Kent, Connecticut, James Gadiel had already landed his dream job with Cantor Fitzgerald, the global financial services powerhouse, and by all accounts was heading for a very successful career with that firm.
On September 11, 2001, James Gadielâ€™s lifeâ€”along with the lives of nearly 3000 othersâ€”came to an abrupt end when Muslim terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, where James worked on the 103rd floor of the North Tower.
Jamesâ€™s grief-stricken father, Peter, tried to move on with his life, but as the years passed, something began to trouble him: he was coming to the realization that people were starting to forget exactly who it was that attacked us on the morning of September 11, 2001. He doesnâ€™t want people to forget his son or the other victims, but he especially doesn’t want people to ever forget who, exactly, was responsible for the heinous acts of that day: Muslim terrorists.
And thatâ€™s why now, according to reports on The Oâ€™Reilly Factor and Sunday morningâ€™s Fox and Friends, Peter Gadiel is in a heated controversy with the Town of Kent, Connecticut, which wants to erect a plaque in memory of his son.
The Town Board has rejected Peter Gadielâ€™s wording for the proposed plaque, deeming it â€œoffensive,â€ and unless Gadiel changes the plaqueâ€™s wording, they will not allow it to be erected.
The wording of the plaque, the language of which the Town finds so offensive, is:
James Gadiel: Murdered by Muslim terrorists.
To Peter Gadiel, this is the central fact of the events of September 11, 2001, which he does not want glossed over.
Peter Gadiel: This isnâ€™t a fact that is just overlookedâ€”itâ€™s suppressed. Itâ€™s simply wrong to imply that people just died; the buildings just collapse; they didnâ€™t just fall down. We were attacked-by people with a specific agenda and for a specific purpose.
The city doesnâ€™t want to offend Muslims.
Ruth Epstein, one of two Kent Town Board members who voted the plaque down, explained the Townâ€™s position:
Ruth Epstein: We perceive ourselves as a very warm, loving Town, and to disparage any one ethnic group is against everything that we stand for hereâ€¦we have at least one Muslim family hereâ€”with childrenâ€”and it would be just awful to have them see something like that.
Gadiel eloquently disagrees:
Peter Gadiel: Muslims have to acknowledge that it was their co-religionists who committed this act in their name. I am offended, that unlike so many others, they [Muslims] refuse to acknowledge that it was their people who did this.
Gadiel makes a valid point. The whole affair reeks of a double standard.
Janet Napolitano, our own Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, for example, had no problem with putting those who are anti-abortion or supporters of the Second Amendment on a “right-wing extremists” watch list earlier this year. It didnâ€™t seem to matter to Napolitano and the DHS that most of those people were being unfairly targetedâ€”if they were anti-abortion and/or owned a gun (and also had the misfortune to be white), they were, by Napolitanoâ€™s definition,Â potential terrorists.
Was this not offensive, and wholly inaccurate? Napolitano didnâ€™t think so.
Mr. Gadiel is not using such a broad brush. He does not condemn Muslims. He does condemn Muslim terrorists. There is a difference.
That fact, says Mr. Gadiel, must be acknowledged in any memorial to his son, and he will not support any memorial that fails to do so.
We must never forget the victims of September 11, 2001.
And we should never forget who it was that murdered those victims.