A politician who celebrated the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. gets the ‘key’ to Long Island’s Nassau County.
Like many New York City bedroom communities, the Village of Freeport on Long Island lost its share of loved ones—including police and firefighters—on 9/11. Over 340 people from Nassau County were killed in the attacks.
In the aftermath of the horror, messages of sympathy poured in from democracies around the world. But there were a few exceptions. One occurred days after the crisis when El Salvador’s far-left Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) political party turned a street rally in San Salvador into a celebration of the carnage. The leader of those festivities, which included burning the American flag, was a former Soviet-backed guerrilla commander by the name of Salvador Sánchez Cerén.
It is no surprise then that many Nassau County residents were furious when they learned, earlier this month, that their politicians were fêting Mr. Sánchez Cerén in their own backyard as part of the county’s observation of Salvadoran-American Day. The controversy that ensued threw Mr. Sánchez Cerén’s New York hosts into full-blown damage control as they struggled to convince their constituents that they had no idea who their guest of honor really is.