Bush Recounts Details of Learning About Hijackings
By Brian Fuchik
Metro Staff Reporter
CLEVELAND — The horrific memory of September 11th, 2001, is still fresh in the minds of Americans — especially in President George Bush’s mind as he recounted those personal moments at a Tri-C scholarship fundraiser, Sept. 11, 2014.
After a moment of silence for the families and friends of the 9/11 hijacks, Bush told his version as president to more than 1,200 attendees at the 2014 Presidential Scholarship Luncheon.
Bush said that when he was informed of the first plane crashing into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, he thought it was an aviation error. But, when the second plane hit the other tower, he knew something was wrong.
In front of the White House Press Corps, Bush learned of the news from an aide as he was sitting in a Sarasota, Fla., classroom listening to a little girl read a children’s book. He said his next moves had to give American’s confidence… and he focused on that little girl; he had to protect her.
Bush said it was that little girl, her community, and her nation that helped him remain calm and collected.
Upon leaving the classroom and after actually seen footage of the attacks, he made the statement, “I was hot. Who in the hell did it?”
When the third plane hit The Pentagon, Bush said that was a declaration of war.
“I became something I didn’t want to become, a war-time president,” Bush said.
He said he had to make a lot of tough decisions during this time, some which the public didn’t agree with.
But in the end, he was protecting all of us, he said.
Bush received a standing ovation after recounting the events in a question-and-answer session on stage with Tri-C President Alex Johnson.
A source involved in booking the scholarship luncheon speaker said they tried to book Bush for the first week in October, when the luncheon is usually held, but Bush organizers insisted the former president speak on the anniversary of 9/11.