Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Thursday toured the inside of a visitors center dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Palin, Alaska’s governor, nodded her head several times and said, “Oh, my goodness,” while a retired firefighter showed her pictures of the burning World Trade Center and exhibits that highlighted the moments that hijacked planes stuck each tower.
Her tour guide was Lee Ielpi, whose son Jonathan, a firefighter, died at the World Trade Center.
Palin told Ielpi, “My parents came after the cleanup,” and Ielpi replied, “The whole country did.” She repeated his words: “The whole country did.”
The Alaska governor also listened to a taped emergency call from that day.
Palin spent more than a half-hour at the visitors center. She emerged to walk passed a bronze memorial built into the wall of a firehouse, which commemorates the 343 firefighters who died on Sept. 11. She touched the wall several times.
John Morabito, a New York firefighter, walked alongside the memorial with Palin.
“She was very personable. She was actually a little emotional because of the firefighters memorial wall,” Morabito told reporters.
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, left, is shown the New York City Fire Department memorial on the side of Engine Company 10 by Tribute WTC Visitor Center president and co-founder, Lee Ielpi, a former fire fighter whose son, also a fire fighter, perished at the World Trade Center site, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008 in New York.