Skip to comments.A historic day in the life of President Bush (9/10/06): photographic remembrance of 9/11/06
Posted on 09/10/2006 4:23:55 PM PDT by Wolfstar
PRESIDENTIAL NEWS OF THE DAY: President and Mrs. Bush, and the American people, begin observances of the 5th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks. Excerpt from the AP story by JENNIFER LOVEN, as published on Yahoo News a short time ago.
Bush, wife lay wreaths at ground zero
NEW YORK -- President Bush and his wife Laura stood in somber silence on Sunday after laying wreaths at the ground zero site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood. They honored the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks on a tour that will take them to all three sites of devastation on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Bushes set floral wreaths adrift in ponds of water that mark the former location of the north and south towers. They uttered no words, and walked hand-in-hand on the floor of the cavernous pit, after a slow procession down the long, flag-lined ramp from the street level four to five stories above.
The Bushes then attended a service of prayer and remembrance at nearby St. Paul's Chapel.
The 240-year-old Episcopal church, across the street from the site, escaped damage and became a center of refuge for weary rescue workers.
They were the first stops of nearly 24 hours of observances at the three sites where terrorists wrought death and destruction and transformed his presidency. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the attacks.
On Monday, the anniversary, he was to visit with firefighters and other emergency workers at a firehouse in lower Manhattan; attend a ceremony at the field in Shanksville, Pa., where one of the hijacked planes hurtled to the ground; and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon.
He also was to speak to Americans during a prime-time address Monday night from the Oval Office.
Accompanying the president and first lady at ground zero were New York Gov. George Pataki, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Rudy Giuliani, who was New York mayor at the time of the attacks.
September 11, 2001, presidential pre-attack timeline, and a little known incident that may have been a foiled assassination attempt...
The President flew to Sarasota, Florida, on September 10th. He stayed at the Colony Beach Resort located on a coral island in the Gulf of Mexico off Sarasota. After a private dinner with his brother, Florida governor Jeb Bush, other Republican politicians and activists, the President went to bed around 10:00pm.
Surface-to-air missiles were placed on the roof of the resort (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/10/02), and an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) plane circled high overhead (Fighting Back: The War on TerrorismFrom Inside the Bush White House, by Bill Sammon, 10/02, p. 25). The Secret Service does not make public its detailed security practices, so the public record does not clarify if this type of protection was standard for presidents at the time, or whether security was increased because of possible threats on the life of President Bush in particular. However, an incident the following morning suggests it was due to threats.
On the morning of September 11, President Bush awoke a little before 6:00am. About a half-hour later, he took a four-mile job around a nearby golf course accompanied by a reporter friend and his Secret Service detail.
At about the same time GWB was getting ready for his jog, a van carrying several Middle Eastern men pulled up to the Colonys guard station. The men said they were a television news crew with a scheduled poolside interview with the President. They asked for a certain Secret Service agent by name. The message was relayed to a Secret Service agent inside the resort, who hadnt heard of the agent mentioned or of plans for an interview. He told the men to contact the Presidents public relations office in Washington, DC, and had the van turned away. (Longboat Observer, 9/26/01)
The Secret Service may have foiled an assassination attempt. Two days earlier, Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of Afghanistans Northern Alliance, had been murdered by a similar ruse. Massoud's assassination is widely believed to have been timed to remove the Talibans most popular and respected opponent in anticipation of the backlash that would occur after the 9/11 attacks. (BBC, 9/10/01, BBC, 9/10/01 (B), Time, 8/4/02, St. Petersburg Times, 9/9/02)
After his jog, GWB showered, then sat down for his daily intelligence briefing around 8 a.m. While the President was being briefed, the planes that would be hijacked began taking off. American Airlines Flight 11 was first, leaving Bostons Logan Airport at 7:59 a.m. The others soon followed, except for United Flight 93, scheduled to leave at 8:01, but which was delayed on the runway for about 40 minutes. Around the same time the Flight 11 hijackers were stabbing passenger Daniel Lewin (about 8:20) the Presidents briefing ended and he prepared to leave the Colony. Accounts of when his motorcade left for Emma Booker Elementary School vary from 8:30 to 8:39. He arrived at about 9:00am.
The first media reports of Flight 11s crash into the World Trade Center began around 8:48, two minutes after the attack happened. The President was informed either during the motorcade trip to the school or as he stepped out of the limousine (reports and recollections vary). The President later recalled what he was thinking at the time: I was concentrating on the program at this point, thinking about what I was going to say [about the plane crash]. Obviously, I felt it was an accident. I was concerned about it, but there were no alarm bells. At 9:03, at the same time the program at the elementary school started, Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
Chief of Staff Andrew Card was in a nearby room when he heard the news of the second attack. He waited until there was a pause in the reading drill to walk in and tell the President. The children were getting their books from under their seats to read a story together when Mr. Card came in (Daily Mail, 9/8/02) and whispered to the President: A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack. Accounts vary between 9:05 and 9:07am as to when this historic moment occurred.
WOLFSTAR'S NOTE RE TIMELINE: Accounts of the specific timing of events always vary somewhat during and after emergencies. People use different instruments to note the time -- different watches or clocks, many of which run somewhat fast or somewhat slow.
In addition, as any criminal lawyer knows, human memory is notoriously unreliable for retaining details, particularly of shocking events. This is why eye witnesses to crimes are rarely believed without corroborating physical and circumstantial evidence.
Leftist enemies of President Bush have tried viciously to use the slight discrepancies in different accounts of the timeline that morning to paint a portrait of President Bush as clueless, inattentive, negligent, even cowardly during those first minutes and hours of and after the attacks. So I have deliberately started the above timeline with the little-known probable assassination attempt earlier that morning to make it as clear as possible why the President could not simply dash, willy nilly, from the school to wherever. The Secret Service first had to have a plan of action as to where to take the President to ensure not only his safety, but continuity of government given that the nation's capitol city was also under attack, over 3000 planes were still in the air at the time, and no one knew how many more were being hijacked.
For those who are interested in a straightforward, contemporaneous, totally non-political timeline, here's a good one from CNN's archives. It was posted at 12:27 PM EDT (1627 GMT), September 12, 2001.
HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT TRANSCRIPTS: Unless otherwise noted, all transcript links are to the official WhiteHouse.gov web pages, most of which also contain video and audio links to the events.
Sept. 11, 9:30am EDT, Remarks by the President After Two Planes Crash Into World Trade Center, Emma Booker Elementary School, Sarasota, Florida. (In addition to the transcript, this page only contains an audio link.)
Sept. 11 (time not recorded on WH web page), Remarks by the President Upon Arrival at Barksdale Air Force Base
Sept. 11, 1:47pm EDT, Press Briefing to the Pool By Ari Fleischer aboard Air Force One en route to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
Sept. 11 (time not recorded on WH web page), Press Briefing by Karen Hughes, Counselor to the President, at National FBI Headquarters
Sept. 11, 5:30pm EDT, Press Briefing to the Pool By Ari Fleischer aboard Air Force One en route to Andrews Air Force Base
Sept. 11, 7:15pm EDT, Press Briefing by Attorney General, Secretary of HHS, Secretary of Transportation, and FEMA Director
Sept. 11, 8:30pm EDT, Statement by the President in His Address to the Nation
VIDEOS: Caution...these are not for the faint of heart and probably are not suitable for very young children.
This is an excellent but heart-wrenching video set with tragic irony to Ray Charles' tune "What a Wonderful World."
A compilation of news clips.
Other videos can be found here.
PLEASE DO NOT POST ANY PHOTOS/IMAGES UNTIL THE ALL CLEAR IS GIVEN, as these are arranged in sequence.
We will NEVER forget.
September 10: With their hands over their hearts, President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard perform a military pass and review at the Washington Navy Yard, September 10, 2001. The President and Prime Minister spoke to assembled military personnel, shared lunch and spoke privately in the Oval Office.
Stories were exchanged and as President Bush presented Australian Prime Minister Howard with the bell from the USS Canberra, namesake of a famous Australian Navy ship, at a ceremony commemorating 50 years of military alliance. The President had received word of the exceptional action in battle by the Australian Navy, which was steaming alongside American vessels at Guadalcanal. His Majesty's Australian ship Canberra did not survive the battle, disappearing into the depths where she rests today.
President George W. Bush listens as White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card informs him of a second plane hitting the World Trade Center while GWB was conducting a reading seminar at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. (Win McNamee/Files/Reuters)
Moments before leaving the classroom, President Bush and Florida Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan, left, observe a moment of silence.
Thunderstorm...but I'm here anyway!
As Director of Communications Dan Bartlett points to news footage of the towers burning, President Bush gathers information about the attack while still at the school.
As they watch live media coverage of the day's events in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), Vice President Dick Cheney and senior staff witness the collapse of the South Tower of World Trade Center. In the photo with the Vice President are, from left to right, Josh Bolton, Norm Mineta, Scooter Libbey, Condi Rice and Mary Matalin.
I have been going to that other site and seeing what the other side has to say. I can not say I am the least surprised! Oh, well. Tonight and tomorrow night will be interesting.
Have I told y'all about the face in the flower I was taking a photo of?
President Bush, accompanied by Andy Card and Admiral Richard Mies, conducts a video teleconference with members of his National Security Council at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
After departing Offutt Air Force Base, President Bush again confers with Vice President Cheney from Air Force One during his flight to Andrews Air Force Base. The two men were in almost constant communication that morning after the GWB left the school classroom.
President Bush issuing orders to White House Chief of Staff Andy Card aboard Air Force One.
Indeed never forget
And a let's roll post that the president's approval numbers for his handling in the war on terror have risen.