Today marks the 17th anniversary of the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks that left 2،996 people dead and more than 6،000 others injured in the United States، Dailymail reported.
The horrific day began when hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93-99 of the World Trade Center’s North Tower at 8.46am. Minutes later at 9.03am، United Airlines Flight 175 was crashed by hijackers into floors 75-85 of WTC’s South Tower.
Everyone aboard both planes were instantly killed along with those on the affected floors inside both towers.
Within less than an hour of the two attacks on the Twin Towers، a third hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington، D.C. A fourth hijacked plane was stopped from hitting the intended target by passengers and that aircraft crash landed in a Shanksville، Pennsylvania field. The fateful day has since been known as the worst domestic attack the United States has every experienced.
At the time of the first attack on the North Tower، then-President George W. Bush was participating in a reading demonstration with children at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota، Florida. His discussion with the young students ended quickly as he rushed to an empty classroom to receive updates on the situation as it unfolded.
Now، a collection of captivating and harrowing images that are a part of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum focus on Bush’s leadership during the tragic time in America’s history. The series of photos begins by showing President Bush in the classroom with the students on the morning of the attacks. One photo shows eager children with their hands raised as Bush sits at the front of the classroom with his Secret Service detail standing nearby.
After he learned of the attacks on the World Trade Center، Bush was ushered out of the classroom with students and into an empty room. He can be seen in one photo on the phone gathering information while his Director of Communications Dan Bartlett points to news footage on a television showing the North Tower burning.
Another gripping image captured moments later shows everyone in the room watching footage showing clouds of smoke fill the sky as the second flight hits the South Tower.
More than an hour after both attacks on the Twin Towers، Bush was photographed giving an impromptu press conference at the elementary school as the children، school staff and others stood solemnly behind him. Other images from that day show Bush aboard Air Force One during the flight from Sarasota، Florida to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana watching coverage of the attacks and taking phone calls from Vice President Dick Cheney and others.
Once he arrived in Louisiana، Bush gave another press conference where he said: ‘Make no mistake، The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.’
Dozens of other images in the collection capture moments showing Bush with his senior staff members and aides in the days following the attacks while they hold numerous meetings at the White House.
Bush declared September 14th as the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance and images from that day that are also included in the collection show Bush holding the hand of his father، former President George H. W. Bush، as his wife، Barbara Bush sits next to him. That same day، Bush surveyed the damage to the Pentagon from the presidential helicopter، Marine One، before traveling to New York City where he met dozens of firefighters and first responders at the site of the World Trade Center.
Several gripping images show Bush emotionally embracing the family members of those who lost loved ones in the horrific attacks that forever changed the United States.
President Bush also toured the Islamic Center of Washington، D.C. and met with community members on September 17، 2001. He also held a moment of silence with then-Vice President Dick Cheney on the White House South Lawn with other staff members on September 18، 2001.
In observing the 17th anniversary، President Donald Trump is expected to observe a moment of silence at around the time the first plane hit the North Tower.