Many Americans shared their stories of 9/11 Friday — but some also shared memories from 2019, when former late-night host Jon Stewart emotionally appealed to Congress on behalf of first responders.
In a fiery speech outlining why he felt a victim compensation fund should be made permanent, Stewart was so animated and sincere, he went instantly viral and brought Americans to tears.
Ultimately, in July 2019, a month after the comedian and former “Daily Show” host gave his impassioned testimony, the Senate passed legislation that extended funding to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity: Time,” Stewart said during his July 2019 speech, lambasting the mostly-empty committee hearing. “What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to. Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak. To no one.”
Stewart continued: “Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren’t here, but you won’t be, because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.”
The address was passed around Twitter again Friday during commemorations of the 19-year anniversary of the attacks, as was Stewart’s original first “Daily Show” monologue following the 2001 event. Observers urged viewers to “watch every second” of the testimony.
See it below:
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) September 11, 2020