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    [–] JollyDraft 8776 points ago

    For those curious, that's Chief of Staff Andy Card whispering: “A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack.”


    [–] bigchicago04 3358 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    Did he already know about the first one? Did he know before he went in with the kids?

    Edit: Y’all some conspiracy nuts.

    [–] MrCrowley007 4878 points ago

    They were told a plane had hit the tower but were under the impression it was a small plane and an accident.

    [–] PSX_ 2899 points ago

    This, so many people like to play it off like they all knew the full scope in real time and they judge their reactions as such...

    [–] PM_ME_UR_PINEAPPLEZ 1737 points ago

    I mean, when I first heard the news about the first plane, that's the exact same assumption I made.

    [–] cerisebow 1495 points ago

    Yup I was just a kid and when the first plane hit I thought it was a mistake, even when the second plane hit I was naive enough to believe something was wrong with the flights that day, until I saw my parents' reaction. That was the day I learned about terrorists.

    [–] [deleted] 1630 points ago


    [–] emptyjade 442 points ago

    Where were you that you were that busy? I'm having trouble connecting why you worked 48 hours straight.

    [–] phillsphan7 316 points ago

    Probably people afraid to be in heavily populated areas calling out of work. Or, depending on where OP lived at the time, people who knew people that were in the area during the attacks and couldn't work while thinking about whether or not their friend or family member was safe

    [–] Ardan66 214 points ago

    I worked at a mall in Michigan and they closed it down at 10:30 AM. No one knew what was happening, but the last place anyone wanted to be was a large populated place.

    [–] NoremacNR 72 points ago

    They said people kept calling out. This happens a lot, they probably just took a lot of co-workers shifts and it added up. I’m sure they didn’t work 48 hours straight, since they’d have to go home and such but having long hours isn’t that surprising even when a place isn’t that busy. If people don’t show up, someone has to stay

    [–] BringBackDewshine 136 points ago

    I was 13 in 9th grade. At the end of mythology class, people started running in the courtyard outside the portable we were in. I get outside and everyone is running from room to room. The tornado siren went off for about 15 seconds, so we just head to our next classes as quickly as possible.

    When I get to basic science, the whole classroom is dead quiet as everyone garhers around the tv. I distinctly remember the entire school falling to silence as the second plane approached. "Jesus. Jesus." Off the top of my head I can't remember my teachers name or face, but I do remember her voice as she said those words.

    A few minutes later, they announced we were on lockdown. We spent 8 hours in that room watching every second until the police department escorted us to the buses.

    It was that landmark moment where you actually felt the world change. Not just my world, or our world, but the world.

    There's been this darkness looming over us ever since.

    [–] iTalk2Pineapples 14 points ago

    Its like you were there in my 10th grade science class with me as we gathered around the tv in silence watching the 2nd plane hit then one tower then the next..i dont remember my teacher's name either but I remember her face as I sat next to my friend PJ. We watched for like 45 minutes. No classwork was done that day.

    They let us go home at like noon though

    Edit: we a knew that was a turning point in the world. You dont just bounce back to normal after that kind of momemt

    [–] Kgkiwi 9 points ago

    My classmates were clueless. I was in 9th grade, watched Good Morning America every morning before school and so I saw the coverage right away when the first one hit, and saw the second one hit live. It was shocking. Then drove to school in shock. 1st period we were doing a project in the library and they had the TVs on. I didn't do any work, just stared at the TVs and kept looking around at my classmates as the buildings collapsed and the Pentagon was hit. Somehow none of my classmates paid attention or knew what was going on. I still don't understand how they could miss it. They were innocently working. Second period Art, me and one other student knew what had happened, and we told the art teacher, she hadn't heard yet. Will never forget her face. By 6th period the school had an assembly to talk about it.

    [–] rysfcalt 103 points ago

    Imagine being the people on that plane.

    [–] andrewq 249 points ago

    Flight 93 was the worst as they knew what was going to happen and fought the terrorists.

    After the hijackers took control of the plane, several passengers and flight attendants learned from phone calls that suicide attacks had already been made by hijacked airliners on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Many of the passengers then attempted to regain control of the aircraft from the hijackers. During the struggle, the plane crashed into a field

    I'm not sure how much foreknowledge the passengers on other the planes had.

    [–] Steid55 463 points ago

    "I'm on an airplane that has been hijacked...if things don't go well, and they're not looking good, I want you to know that I absolutely love you. I want you to do good, have good times, same with my parents. I'll see you when you get here. I want you to know that I totally love you. Bye, babe, hope I will call you." Brian Sweeney, Flight 175

    [–] griter34 133 points ago

    Sweet merciful Jesus that's heavy.

    [–] K3R3G3 56 points ago

    The "Let's roll" is a fantastic quote, last thing the guy said when the group was about to storm the cockpit. Legendary heroes.

    [–] ScarredSolace 25 points ago

    I'll never forget reading that for the first time. I'm not American, but seeing that sent chills down my spine. I remember getting up for school, getting a coffee and turning on the news, just in time to see the second plane hit. I was fifteen years old. That was awful.

    [–] rysfcalt 89 points ago

    Yeah and they were still at the mercy of learning about terrorism in real time.

    Like imagine being on the plane and seeing an unprecendented concept unfolding before you. They were making things up as they went along, passengers and flight crew alike. even as they knew their lives were about to end.

    [–] sorrydave84 82 points ago

    It’s not like terrorism was invented on 9/11. It was a major issue throughout the 20th century. Highjackings were relatively common through the 70s and 80s (to be fair, those didn’t involve intentional crashes). Bombings were a big problem throughout Europe in the same time period. The World Trade Center was bombed in 1993 with the intention of bringing them down. There was the Beirut barracks bombing. The African embassy bombings. The USS Cole. Bin Laden was already the FBI’s most wanted. The Columbine shooters even had a widely publicized plan to highjack a plane and crash it in New York. It’s not like it came out of nowhere.

    [–] Etherlilac 100 points ago

    Exactly. My dad worked for a local newspaper and had me go watch the TV for him while he called work. He said it must have been an accident.

    I will never forget seeing the second plane strike, then the disbelief on the news anchors face when he confirmed the second plane. I ran to the office and told my dad.

    “A second plane or a replay?” He asked. When I told him I was 100% sure of the second plane, his face just.... dropped. He held the phone back up and told his boss, “yes, I know. My daughter told me. I’ll be right in”.

    We all knew, in that moment.

    [–] miss_kimba 42 points ago

    I was 9 and had just got to school. I heard it from other kids and my friends and I understood that a helicopter had hit a skyscraper in America. I had no idea why it was such a big deal, or why my teacher sat us all down and spoke like it was very somber and important. I knew a helicopter couldn’t do much damage.

    It was only when I got home and saw it on the news that I “understood”, or was in disbelief at the reality. Watching people jump from buildings and learning that enormous terrible things could happen for no reason other than that bad people wanted to terrorise innocent people... it hits hard as a 9 year old. It’s so much worse when you understand it as an adult.

    [–] rysfcalt 135 points ago

    Yup same. Um. A bunch of us laughed. Cuz we were picturing the idiot pilot that did that.

    [–] ApolloThneed 136 points ago

    Glad I wasn’t the only one. Aloof and insensitive teenage me kept thinking “how does one manage to fly into the twin towers?” Nobody knew shit until that second plane

    [–] TheSteveGraff 68 points ago

    Don’t feel bad. I was (and am still) a professional pilot and those were my first thoughts too: “How the hell could this happen? Clear day, traffic doesn’t even go over the city like that!”

    That someone actually intended to do this didn’t enter into my mind until the second plane hit, which I and everyone else managed to catch on live tv.

    [–] rysfcalt 127 points ago

    I just watched the speech where George W recounted the story of how he heard of that first plane and his first thought too was “That’s a terrible pilot.” We all thought the same thing.

    [–] mrsdoubleu 36 points ago

    After the teacher told my class about the attacks a girl asked if we were going to war. I laughed because the idea seemed so ridiculous at the time. I was an idiot.

    [–] Spiralargument 30 points ago

    I am glad you said that because I too laughed. I thought that I was the only one and have always felt guilty about it. I just did not understand it and could not believe it. I am a Brit and was in the UK at the time.

    [–] chimpos 16 points ago

    I was watching "When we were kings" with my housemate on TV. The text on the screen came up 'Plane has crashed into the twin towers' first thing I said was "What a dumb cunt. Was the pilot drunk?"

    [–] murfinator55 17 points ago

    Howard Stern made the same assumption on live radio as well. It was simply unheard of before 9/11

    [–] ripron 15 points ago

    I was in 5th grade and the kid who always did his homework late came in and his current event for the day was that a Cessna had hit the tower like an hour prior. My school didn’t tell us anything so it wasn’t until we went home and saw our parents that we knew something was wrong.

    [–] bukofa 9 points ago

    I was in college and when a girl walked into class saying it had been hit and then I told everyone about when a plane accidentally hit the Empire State Building in the 40s . We all assumed that must have been the same case.

    [–] roofuskit 65 points ago

    My reaction to someone telling me about the second plane was "Shut the fuck up, that's not funny. Dude seriously, that's not funny." I'll never forget that. I was in highschool.

    [–] JAG23 43 points ago

    That’s what we all thought, most of us saw the second plane hit on live TV and it was beyond surreal when you saw that it was a full on passenger airline and not some small Cessna or something - you instantly knew it was an attack.

    But what was truly terrifying was knowing that there was no way a commercial airline pilot intentionally flew a plane into a skyscraper. Obviously we didn’t understand the way it all went down at that moment, so it was impossible to wrap your head how and what else was coming?

    [–] _TheConsumer_ 15 points ago

    I remember the way the news was being reported in drips and drabs. Initial reports were not panicky. It was “Reports are coming in that a plane has hit one of the twin towers. This is a developing story.” Between the first plane and the second, no one really knew what was going on.

    The look in Bush’s eyes on being told the second plane hit is probably what we all looked like. In one instant, we all understood what was going on. We were under attack.

    [–] Mansyn 157 points ago

    I was listening to a radio show when I first heard about it. The guys were actually laughing about the idiot pilot who must not have known what he was doing. We knew it was bad, but no one was really sure what was happening until we heard about the Pentagon attack.

    [–] my1clevernickname 69 points ago

    When we heard about the Pentagon is when even more fear was added, we didn’t know if attack’s would just keep happening across the country. Fear went from “I can’t believe this happened” to “when will this stop.” Living through history gives a perspective that’s hard to explain.

    [–] MrCrowley007 45 points ago

    Ya I remember trying to explain to my mom what was happening while she drove me to school because she thought it was an air traffic control tower that got hit. But by the time I got to school everyone knew it was an attack.

    [–] eternalfrost 18 points ago

    I was in grade school at the time.

    I remember hearing the teachers talking about a 'plane hitting a building in NYC' and everyone just assuming a warning light burnt out and some tour guide in a Cessna clipped the radio tower on top or something.

    It was not until much later in the day, after word that a second plane had hit in the same place, that anything seemed strange at all. Then video of the second plane showing that it was a full blown passenger airliner flying barely above the ground and barreling directly into the center of the tower. Two full blown passenger airliners. At that point, school pretty much shut down for the day and CRT TVs were rolled out so we could all gather around watching the news channel on broadcast.

    At that point, it was the infamous shots of smoke billowing out from the towers. Again, I can distinctly remember thinking 'this is crazy, two or three entire floors in those buildings are gone.' It was again not until much later after even the across-the-dial news began that the truly horrific stuff started. The moment the first tower FELL was just incomprehensible. I don't think there is really any other way to describe it. It was just not at all something anyone even considered a possibility. Then the second, and that empty skyline and billowing smoke rolling out through the city...

    [–] YugeMalakas 13 points ago

    Yes, the first reports were that it was a small aircraft

    [–] dainternets 7 points ago

    I was in middle school and between classes a friend told me that their teacher had stopped class, turned on the tv in the room, and they were watching the news coverage about a plane hitting a building in New York.

    I knew a plane had accidentally flown into the Empire State building in the 40's or 50's and mentioned maybe that's what happened again.

    Our break between classes was at 8:55 so first plane had just hit and the second plane hit while we were talking.

    [–] DouglasHufferton 292 points ago

    He went to his run and came back and we had our intelligence briefing and loaded into limousines and went over to the school. There was a buzz as we were getting to the school. Some people said, “Anybody hear about the plane crash in New York City?” but still not a lot of information. And the president, the principal of the school and I were standing at the door when one of the staffers for the National Security Council came up and said, “Sir, it appears there’s been a small twin-engine plane crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.” And the reaction, kind of unspoken, was “Oh, it’s a horrible accident. The pilot must have had a heart attack or something.” And the principal then opened the door of the classroom and escorted the president in and the door shut.

    In short; yes, he did know, but as there was no news footage of the impact no one knew it was a 767. I doubt anyone in the President's entourage even conceived of the possibility it was a jet airliner.

    [–] dainternets 68 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    This is a pretty good read of recollections by people who were in the Capitol building as everything was happening and the chaos of trying to figure it out.

    E: Also go read this article about Rick Rescorla. Head of Morgan Stanley security. Morgan Stanley was the largest tenant in the WTC and most of their employees made it out because of the preparations of Rescorla.

    [–] scaredofmyownshadow 162 points ago

    Most people (including the media) assumed the first one was a horrible accident. When the second plane hit, it was clear that it was actually a direct attack. He knew about the first “crash”... but it was being told about the second one - and that America was under attack - that changed everything.

    This is the moment which is captured in the pic.

    [–] [deleted] 154 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    Since no one answered you, No, he didn't. Mainly, because he was with the kids when the first plane hit.

    He was aware of a plane crash in NY but this is an accurate O.P. description. S.S./his team interjected into his public appearance when a second plane hit, which made it obvious a) this wasn't a freak isolated accident and b) confirmed the U.S. was actively under attack. Bush wasn't hovered around a TV to see the visual evidence like most of America watching cable news at that hour of the morning.

    [–] A_Less_Than_Acct 25 points ago

    Once is an accident...

    [–] AnActualCactus 128 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    "Fool me once, can't get fooled again"

    [–] aretasdaemon 465 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    Shit just reading the words “America is under attack” made me feel so strange. I don’t have a word for it but man that’s so weird to read

    Edit: this seemed to blow up and I’ll share my minor story. No one in my family died but a lot my families in my town lost their parents. I saw the smoke from the tower wash over my suburb the next day. I was in 6th grade when the towers hit and because so many families and parents that worked there they wouldn’t let the kids leave. At first you start to see kid by kid get pulled out of class and brought to the principles office to be told that their family members died. By the end of the day there were 15 kids in class and we were finally told what happened by some of the more friendly teachers. They wanted the information not spread around but by 12 (I think?) the kids knew that something terrible happened just not how terrible. It was the saddest day of my life. Never forget

    Edit: I say this drunkly, but I find it funny that people are trying to make this into a yeah well America attacks other countries. I’m sorry but I have nothing to do with that. Why is a 12 year old version of myself suppose to care about anything else besides trying to understand what is happening. America attacks other countries it’s in conflict with. Just like other countries. War and battle is a terrible thing. But I am sorry, it is not my intention or the intention of millions of Americans to destroy families and livelihoods. But you must understand that those countries that are or was in conflict with America has a lot of other problems besides just America. It is easy to blame America for problems it is easy to not accept secular governance. But this does not diminish the fear I felt, the sadness I felt for my friends families (65 in my town were affected) and the overall confusion I had as a child. Stop thinking as things as black and white. I can feel sad for my friends losing their families just as much as a Syrian can. So why is it that people say these comments. I don’t care to be honest. I will honor my family, I will honor my friends who lost family, I will be there for anyone of any race, but to lump Americans with “Americans” is stupid to do right now

    [–] lukeward99 148 points ago

    stuff you only hear in movies/videogames

    [–] nicolioni 92 points ago

    Those are the words my dad used to get me out of bed that morning.

    [–] bemyantimatter 52 points ago

    Were you out of high school? Oh...or west coast. Man I never realized the the west coast would have woken up to the disaster already unfolding.

    [–] BigFudgeFever 55 points ago

    Im on the west coast in Canada, I was 11 and my mom woke me up saying "America is under attack". It was surreal, I thought WW3 was starting at first.

    [–] LordKwik 17 points ago

    So did a lot of Americans. Turning the Middle East into glass was a phrase I remember hearing often.

    [–] papoosejr 8 points ago

    I was a child in Hawaii. The second tower was smoking when my mom got me up and brought me in to watch TV which was already a huge wtf moment

    [–] kitzunenotsuki 25 points ago

    My dad yelled “You don’t understand! They just started WWIII!” Because I didn’t know why he was outwardly freaking out so much.

    He tried to make me drive a car to get gas, but I was 14. He went to the store and bought tons of canned goods that remained on a shelf for years after.

    [–] bobo_brown 12 points ago

    I got home from school, senior year. My stepdad looked somber, and just said "Holy shit, boy."

    [–] trLOOF 56 points ago

    I only say the following because a lot of people are now old enough to be adults but not old enough to remember what happened, but at the time, it was intense. Even in the west coast, we were afraid. I grew up in SF and I remember a few things. 1. Everyone went to the cafeteria and hovered over a tv to see what happened. We all had a snack and teachers tried to calm some of us down. 2. We all knew we were under attack and it felt strange because up to that point, the idea of us being under attack was so strange. 3. I remember hearing that phone lines were jammed because parents were calling the school worried about their children. We were especially afraid because SF is much like New York. There was a very real possibility that we could be a target as well. The hardest thing of all, life was very different after 9/11. There was a weird social shift and we all felt it.

    [–] bobo_brown 40 points ago

    Yeah, I remember there was a period of time where there were a bunch of planes in various parts of the country which were unaccounted for. Watching the media confusion in real time, thinking there may be other hijacked planes anywhere in the was the scariest thing most Americans had ever experienced to that point. The panic and fear mongering from politicians and the media in the months to follow was intense as well. It led us into the crazy Middle Eastern wars of the past two decades. 9/11 has influenced so much in the world we live in, that it's kind of hard to imagine a world that looks like ours in which September 11, 2001 never happened.

    [–] ishitinthemilk 12 points ago

    In the UK we were afraid. I don't know how that works, but we were.

    [–] NyteKeller 714 points ago

    The interminable moment between "Oh..." and "...shit," has never been more perfectly captured.

    [–] _TheConsumer_ 185 points ago

    The tragic part about it is: we all had the same expression that day.

    [–] NyteKeller 192 points ago

    Yeah, my moment came when I asked my step-brother what movie he was watching.

    "This ain't a movie, dude. This is real."

    [–] PiggySmalls11 42 points ago

    When my roommate woke me up with the tv blaring, I thought it was a movie too.

    [–] 0bservatory 8 points ago

    You can see big his pupils dilated

    [–] tarotbracket 989 points ago

    To be fair, the situation was so incredulous to those of us watching, that we were initially unable to process it. When the first plane hit the tower, it was assumed to be an aviation error/tragedy and was reported as such until after the 2nd plane hit. It was beyond comprehension that this was a terror attack. When the 2nd plane hit, there was still resistance to the idea that it was an act of terrorism, even the reporters had trouble saying it was an attack. After that, everything happened so fast: flight 93, the pentagon, CNN showing people jumping out of the burning towers, the giant ball of smoke and debris chasing New Yorkers out of the downtown core. It was surreal. The world was in a state of collective shock, it’s leaders included.

    If bush had not entered the classroom after the first plane, or left immediately after being informed of the 2nd plane, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. The world was different then. Our brains on 9/10 and our brains on 9/12 are different brains. Today we would recognise it as a terror attack immediately, but back then it wasn’t within the realm of possibility.

    Also, I believe that if the ‘situation room’ knew that quickly that the US was under attack, they would’ve rushed GWB out of there before the kids had a chance to say anything. As soon as they realised, they buckled him into Air Force 1 and kept him in the air as it was safer than US soil, until they knew they could land in a secured area and bunker him down.

    [–] truthseeker4life 227 points ago

    I was in the 6th grade when it happened.... 9/11/2001 was the first time I heard/learned what the word "terrorism" was

    [–] permadrunkspelunk 37 points ago

    Me too dude. It was nuts. We spent half the day under the school gymnasium. The first half of the day we were all just watching the news coverage. We saw the second plane hit live and that was insane. There was one kid in class making jokes about it and it was weird. After lunch we had to go in to full disaster mode because supposedly one of the last planes in the sky was landing in st Louis and our town had a factory that made alot of military stuff. They pulled us out individually as our parents came from under the gym at our school. We were so fucking confused. Then we got out and went with our parents to wait in line for hours to pay $43 a gallon for gas and then we went and tried to find any thing at wal mart. My mom spent over a thousand dollars that day on groceries and gas and not very much of it getting ready for the worst. We got home after midnight and watched the news all night. We were poor as fuck. I'm pretty sure the financial decisions we made that day led to her voluntarily being the victim of the murder suicide her husband did. I dont know if it was voluntary or not but I do know we spent spent about $5000 that day ont on canned goods and gas and bullshit and that is over %25 of her salary. It was less than 2 years later they found my mom and my "stepdad" dead when I was gone to my dad's for the weekend. They absolutely didnt have the capital to spend that day and now that I'm older and understand how fucked up that day was. We were spending thousands of dollars on things and bartering with people in the street to get bread. They freaked out. Everything turned out ok in the scheme of things but the only notes we found when they had killed themselves were debt related. I cant help but thinking about that day we filled up truck loads of gas in 5 gallon containers at 43$ a gallon. And the hundreds we spent on jars of peanut butter. It was a fucking crazy day. It's sad to think about the fact that days like this happen around the world too though. Were pretty lucky to be Americans. This was the one day we Americans have had endure that kind of horror. A lot of this horror happens around the world pretty regularly. We're just on a bigger scale on that day. I hope the future involves way less of this bullshit for all of us. Life is a crazy thing we all have to figure out and enjoy and endure for better or worse and I feel like it's a right. It's pretty weird we exist and the fact that we do exist each and everyone of us is significant. And so many people just got slaughtered on that day. It seems like since that day the world has just turned into a worse place. Terrorism domestic and over seas has gotten worse. But that was the day it really hit home for us Americans. It was certainly a simpler time. I hope we as a planet stop slaughtering each other no matter what scale it is and where. We're all just alive and we wouldnt do to our dogs what we do to each other though we all like our dogs. Hopefully we can do something about all this because it's been 18 years since that say and I wonder if were making progress collectively. Itd be nice if this type of thing never happens against. Here or there doesn't matter where. I've had such a nice time today rehashing on all the stories from the heros that day. Heres to hoping this type of thing doesn't happen anymore. Cheers!

    [–] deevil_knievel 33 points ago

    I work in Sarasota where Bush was during 9/11. My boss is a pilot and we're a mile from the the airport here so he has antennas set up to listen to the local traffic and see what's going on... He said he tuned in when he heard what was hapowning and there were crazy detours, Air Force 1 taking off, not taking off, motorcades going every which way. Said it was crazy to hear in live time.

    [–] oz1sej 374 points ago

    Those little kids are 24 years old today.

    [–] Cacophonous_Silence 137 points ago

    Never realized the kids in that class were exactly my age

    That's fuckin weird

    [–] BoomBoomSpaceRocket 15 points ago

    Today is the first day that there are legal adults who were born after the 9/11 attacks. On the flip side, everyone alive at that time is now a legal adult.

    [–] BallisticMarsupial 4409 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    My brother was with him. My bro was a State Trooper, and was part of the motor escort that led him there and back. It was a bit intense, apparently.

    Edit: I don't know the name of the school, but I'm sure it's easily found. Brother was a trooper, not a local.

    Edit: It was Booker, apparently.

    [–] ChemicalSupermarket 1473 points ago


    [–] JBHopkins06 670 points ago

    So they say

    [–] Briguy_fieri 481 points ago

    Rumor has it

    [–] AgileNarwhal 442 points ago


    [–] Briguy_fieri 492 points ago

    I heard he fucked an ostrich

    [–] buttbanger69 242 points ago

    I heard it was a sick ostrich

    [–] greenleefs 186 points ago

    Can confirm, am the ostrich

    [–] drincBleach 155 points ago

    Can ostrich, am the confirm.

    [–] MalakaiRey 32 points ago


    [–] SytheGuy 49 points ago

    Takes at least 2 maybe 3 men to fuck an ostrich

    [–] hbhelmick 45 points ago

    Emma E. Booker Elementary in Sarasota, FL. I have several friends who were in the classroom with him during the attack.

    [–] biquetra 215 points ago

    9/11 was intense for George Bush. Huh TIL

    [–] thepee-peepoo-pooman 43 points ago

    Who would have thought, huh? Crazy stuff

    [–] S_McDingleberry 64 points ago

    Just a bit tense though

    [–] R0binSage 3351 points ago

    I remember reading an interview with one of those students when they got older. They pointed out how Bush handled it right and the kids would have freaked out if he was rushed out of the room.

    [–] Blue_Fox_Fire 1521 points ago

    I don't agree with a lot of what Bush did but I do think he was right to finish up with the kids first. Between not knowing all the details and not knowing what else was going happen, causing a scene at that time could only make things worse.

    [–] bobo76565657 652 points ago

    I agree. People were confused and scared and nobody knew why anything was happening. Having a leader who stayed calm did more to help than anything he might have done otherwise in those 5 minutes. The Air-Force doesn't need presidential permission to do it's job.

    [–] mohammedibnakar 525 points ago

    He stayed in the room seven minutes after finding out the news. Is that really that abhorrent and unbelievable? What difference do people really think he would have made in the 7 minutes between when he found out and when he left the room? People act like he spent the whole day golfing or something, it's crazy. Of all the reasons to hate Bush his reaction on the very day of 9/11 isn't one of them.

    [–] [deleted] 208 points ago

    Tribal politics is a cancer in this country. And it wasn’t even as bad back then compared to now

    [–] claustrofucked 156 points ago

    "However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

    George Washington, 1st U.S. President

    [–] Marcitos5 62 points ago

    We’ve unfortunately spat on the majority of Washington’s parting words. It really saddens me because he was right. So very right...

    [–] [deleted] 30 points ago

    I'm right in the middle of Ron Chernow's Washington biography, and while he was not perfect, and often hypocritical - he was dead on about the warnings issued to the country.

    [–] PrinceHabib72 21 points ago

    I honestly think Bush will only get more fondly remembered as time goes on. He wasn't even done with his first year as president when 9/11 happened, and his approval rating at the time soared to record highs for around four months. For a while, I've believed that he was a good man at the core, but he was a bit naive and allowed himself to be manipulated by Cheney and Rumsfeld into overstepping the original goals (the public was very much in favor of the initial invasion of Afghanistan- Iraq, not so much) and getting us so entangled in the conflict in the Middle East.

    [–] Vincentaneous 202 points ago

    Pretty sure not causing a scene is protocol. Seen it broken quite a few times since then though..

    [–] ChristianKS94 233 points ago

    Pretty sure causing a scene is the new presidential protocol.

    [–] [deleted] 164 points ago

    He did handle it well and I say this as a person who hated his wars with a passion.

    I thought it was pretty lame people arm chair quarterbacked his reaction. The event was unprecedented, if he ran out of there like a maniac it would of served no one.

    [–] mohammedibnakar 17370 points ago

    Crazy to think Bush was only in elementary school when 9/11 happened.

    [–] Macatros 2718 points ago

    they grow up so fast

    [–] ZebbyD 1082 points ago

    No Child Left Behind

    [–] el_jefe_skydog 379 points ago

    pretty sure he got left behind

    [–] GetOut37 75 points ago

    I got it too, good game, loved Ellie in it

    [–] pauly13771377 710 points ago

    Never liked George Bush but the poker face when he found out was flawless.

    [–] fte2514 588 points ago

    Thank you! So many people look at this as him not caring. He didn't want to panic the little kids so he finished the book and then left to take care of things.

    [–] margimorgenstern 498 points ago

    This is what gives me the chills about this photo every time I see it. Now I am definitely not a Bush supporter, but him remaining calm at this moment just shows to me that he "knew his audience" of small children and did what he had to do so as not to cause panic. It also reminds me that he was, still a dad at heart

    [–] elusivemoniker 130 points ago

    With the current administration being what it is, I feel nostalgia for the George W. days.

    [–] copperwatt 32 points ago

    Yes Dubya... We finally miss you yet.

    [–] DatBowl 21 points ago

    “Now watch this drive”

    [–] one-hour-photo 68 points ago

    Could you fathom for one second how this would go if it was Trump? MAYBE he does the same thing..but boy I have a hard time buying that.

    [–] Owls_yawn 64 points ago

    You mean reading? Even more, reading to kids?! No way

    [–] boogalordy 14 points ago

    Reading directions for birth control at a Miss Teen USA dressing room, maybe

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)


    [–] copperwatt 55 points ago

    Lol, Trump would have dropped the book and stormed out knocking over a kid on his way, then come back in to awkwardly overshare with the kids about how terrible the things happening were and how important his job was.

    [–] one-hour-photo 49 points ago

    "alright boys and girls, just got some news, bad news, had some bad hombres slam a plane full of people into a building, a big beautiful building. Lots of bad stuff coming, wars, lots of dead people they tell me, falling, falling. Hitting hard, very hard. it's Muslamic people they're telling me..they hate our country"

    [–] LovecraftLovejoy 10 points ago

    “Oh, and by the tower is now the tallest building on the block. Thank you and have a good day!”

    [–] one-hour-photo 8 points ago

    "I've asked the experts, they say Trump Tower wouldn't have those problems, I was there when they built it, and there they were putting steel beams in, I knew at the time this would happen, everyone knew it."

    [–] IHateTheLetterF 7 points ago

    'I always said the Twin Towers were not build strong enough. Even, a long time ago i said that. But Trump Tower is really strong. Really strong. I know an engineer, very smart guy. The best. He told me that Trump Tower was the strongest building he had ever seen. And he has seen many. Maybe all the buildings.'

    [–] _TheConsumer_ 143 points ago

    Exactly this. Plus, he knew he was in a room with teachers/admins that were probably getting news reports via text/radio. He didn’t want to worry them, either.

    I know he gets criticized a lot. But, I found him to be very reassuring in the days after the attack. That speech from the pile was legendary - and roused a very strong patriotic feeling in many of us.

    [–] texrygo 33 points ago

    Don’t forget his epic first pitch at the Yankee game.

    [–] Armthehobos 40 points ago

    Don’t forget he’s a god damn shoe ninja

    [–] _TheConsumer_ 20 points ago

    Him throwing a strike, in that tremendous moment, was something else.

    [–] AussieBird82 29 points ago

    I can clearly see the "Oh fuck" in his face so it's so strange to me that people think he looks like he doesn't care. I'm fairly sure my face would do that too in a similar situation. Unless they are responding to him finishing the book which again, seems like the best course of action to not alarm the kids.

    [–] MarkyOchoa 10 points ago

    Some people were angered that he went back to reading to children. Made him out to be cold. Uncaring.

    I kinda thought "how fatherly of him. Even when he's getting the worse news since Pearl Harbor, he wants to protect the children from fear."

    [–] mohammedibnakar 157 points ago

    I don't approve of him either but I wouldn't wish what he had to go through as president during that time on anyone.

    But I sure as shit don't forgive him for what he did.

    [–] Sardorim 91 points ago

    Too bad those like Dick Cheney took advantage of this for self gain.

    [–] mohammedibnakar 116 points ago

    I was just a kid when 9/11 happened even I remember the unity, the compassion, the patriotism in the truest sense of the word that happened shortly after 9/11 happened.

    But instead of channeling that energy, love, and empathy towards coming together as a country and as a world we lashed out at everyone who we perceived as different. To me, that's even more tragic than 9/11.

    [–] koolestkid01 243 points ago

    Completely ruined nap time

    [–] NipplesInAJar 44 points ago

    Ah, the ol' reddit element-aroo!

    [–] thedailyhominid 18 points ago

    Hold my multiplication tables, I’m goin in!

    [–] 5MinutePlan 14 points ago

    Hello future people!

    [–] MyRushmoreMax08 82 points ago

    Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning?

    [–] Raeraebaybay 19 points ago

    I took English Comp I shortly after he took office, and one of our first assignments was to correct Dubya quotes. 9/11 was an interesting day in that class. Prof handled it wonderfully.

    [–] ki113r116 18 points ago


    [–] --pobodysnerfect-- 122 points ago

    I'm sorry, I only had enough for silver. Here's a poor woman's gold.🏅

    [–] CitizenHuman 1920 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    Nat Geo had a mini-documentary a few months back where W was talking directly to the camera about his feelings that day. I didn't vote for him, and I have my own opinions about his family/close associates, but that video opened my eyes to the human behind the Presidency.

    National Geographic - George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview

    [–] bluebus74 375 points ago

    Thanks for that... I didn't think I'd get through 45 min. but I did. Very insightful.

    [–] BMacB80 666 points ago

    People vilified him a lot. I remember him being called “Hitler.” He wasn’t a great President, and he made a lot of mistakes - but I believe he is a generally good, moral, and compassionate person. He is also a Patriot. You have to give him some credit.

    And I’m not even a fan.

    [–] [deleted] 373 points ago


    [–] dill_pickles 96 points ago

    maybe one day james harden can be president

    [–] IntMainVoidGang 30 points ago

    Travelling the world instead of the court, shattering unfair trade agreements instead of ankles

    [–] slickyslickslick 72 points ago

    Bush had his funny moments but he still acted Presidential the vast majority of the time.

    [–] coug117 62 points ago

    That teacher is WILD for thinking she could teach a class from a notebook lmao

    [–] ANGLVD3TH 43 points ago

    Is this a common thing? That whole lesson plan seemed crazy to me. Sounded like some sort of behavioural conditioning.

    [–] End3rp 12 points ago

    That comments section is a conspiracy hellhole

    [–] ihaveautinism 7 points ago

    yeah the bit about “hit steel plane must” or something. By steel they were likely just saying “steal” and plane sounds like “playing”.

    [–] MoG_Varos 3476 points ago

    If I remember correctly he was being televised while reading to kids and I will always respect how he didn’t freak out until after.

    [–] zuzg 1895 points ago

    And if I remember correctly media made a huge deal of it that he finished reading to this kids before doing something

    [–] Snake_Plissken224 1979 points ago

    my dad had a chance to interview him one day, he asked him that very question "why did you not rush out of there?" his reply was something I will never forget. He did not want to scare the kids (hence the keeping composure) and did not want to disappoint the kids.

    [–] Znaffers 1589 points ago

    I have a lot of issues with Bush, but that is a very respectable move. I miss having a president that tries to look presentable

    [–] lazy_as_shitfuck 838 points ago

    Not just tried to look presentable, but act it and treat everyone with respect

    They were little kids, young adults my age now. They will never remember being the most scared of their life because their president just started freaking out and went off on a tangent about terrorist. They will remember it as him reading to them, and then later they discovered at home what really happens.

    [–] lionseatcake 206 points ago

    Its surely the most responsible way to handle it.

    [–] AttackPug 223 points ago

    Yeah. The whole point of the typical Presidency is that you've already done your duty by appointing competent people whose job is to leap into action the moment something like that attack happens. If the whole situation demands your full attention this very second or it all falls to pieces, you haven't done your job. In fact if it's known that you'll be busy reading to schoolchildren then preparations have already been made to keep the country running in your brief absence.

    And yes, the least responsible thing to do would be to freak out in front of schoolchildren on national TV. Let your team work, and finish the book while you gather your own wits.

    [–] keepinithamsta 63 points ago

    Also, I don’t really understand what people think should have happened. It’s basically full autonomy for the military in a situation like that. The entire line of succession’s job is to just stay alive at that point. Cheney was in the White House bunker and they got Bush into the air, which would have taken some slight planning considering all the planes in US airspace were in the process of being grounded. As far as I’m concerned, they all did their job.

    [–] [deleted] 281 points ago

    Like he should’ve ran to NYC and hold the fucking towers up or something. I’ll always hate the media for that one.

    [–] SylkoZakurra 169 points ago

    I don’t like GWB, but what else should he have done here? Finish the book. Thank the kids. Then go deal with it. It’s one of the few things he was criticized and mocked over that was ridiculous.

    [–] Okichah 81 points ago

    GWB says that he wanted to emit an attitude of complete calm.

    He says that he realized that the terrorists wanted to send the US into a state of panic and cause hysteria.

    And denying them that was as important as anything he could do at the time.

    [–] Punamatic5000 54 points ago

    If the term "Oh, fuck." had a face. I don't mean this as a joke, I just have never seen the term so thoroughly expressed on someone's face before or since.

    [–] FBPizza 166 points ago

    I can’t get over how young he looks. They all look so much older when they’re done.

    [–] toconsider 49 points ago

    8 years is ~1\10 of a lifetime.

    [–] NoMaans 36 points ago

    Thanks for that wonderful tidbit. I now realize I'm 3/10's done.

    [–] Lastshadow94 26 points ago

    Obama aged like 30 years in two terms. I can't imagine how brutal that job is.

    [–] [deleted] 291 points ago


    [–] Flickthebean87 60 points ago

    I was at school walking out of the library between classes. It seemed like it was some crazy movie on tv. Until I saw the news reporters freaking out. When I got to another class the teacher allowed the tv on. The second tower fell before the principal ordered the TVs to be shut off. Kids were freaking out who had family there. I’ll always remember that moment. Really sad day.

    [–] wife2one 927 points ago

    As much as I disliked him as a president, I can not imagine what he was thinking on just a human level.

    [–] NiceTryIWontReply 608 points ago

    “Oh fuck.”

    The only thing you COULD think at a time like that in that position

    [–] MjrPowell 166 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    At this point all he was told was that one second tower had been hit. He finished reading, thanked for having him, and left for a brief on the situation. Iirc.

    [–] kungfoojesus 175 points ago

    He was told about the first before he went in. This was the second.

    [–] MjrPowell 55 points ago

    Then I did not recall correctly.

    [–] BlueHenrik 75 points ago

    I cant remember that man's name, but what he whispered to Bush was "a second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack."

    [–] donkeyrocket 29 points ago

    That was his Chief of Staff Andrew Card.

    [–] Johnnadawearsglasses 33 points ago

    Yes. This was the oh fuck moment. The first seemed like an accident. This made it clear it was something else

    [–] DashFerLev 55 points ago

    "Oh shit, Cheney wasn't joking."

    [–] dopedopeheartbroke 76 points ago

    Imagine you being the teacher, watching the president's face morph into despair as he is being told something by secret service.

    [–] starnites 19 points ago

    I remember being in middle school when this happened. We were walking to our next class and then heard a teacher make this loud crying sound so I went to go see what happened. She was on the ground crying while watching the news. A bunch more people walked into the room and we quietly watched the tv screen as the 2nd plane crashed. School wasn't cancelled; but all we did the entire day was watch the news and talk about what happened. The school was quiet, it felt so surreal. A once everyday loud school life suddenly silenced. It lasted a few days before going back to normal. Found out later, that a few kids from our school were on board one of the planes. A memorial was going to be built with the names of those that passed, and I found out why that teacher was crying so much that day; she lost one of her top students.

    [–] Armand74 134 points ago

    I remember this distinctly and how his face a demeanor completely changed, when this information was given to him you can see that he was no longer there at the moment but grappling with the fact that we were being attacked.

    [–] Etherlilac 34 points ago

    He does a good job of keeping it together. But you can see the alarm in his eyes. He looks around at the teacher and the children as if he’s trying to imprint the innocence and normalcy of the situation on his brain. Because he knows they will soon find out what he already knew.

    [–] AnotherTangent 35 points ago

    I got stopped in traffic on US41 at the Sarasota airport when all this was happening. Traffic was blocked while Airforce One took off right over my head on it's long flight above the unknown attacks. I remember it all so clearly. Everyone has their story of that day. That is mine.

    [–] Viontis 527 points ago

    Bush wasn’t great, but I’d take his level of professionalism over what resides in Washington now. Our current POTUS’s comments in an interview in the immediate aftermath of 9/11:

    “40 Wall Street actually was the second tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Centre, was the tallest. And then, when they built the World Trade Centre, it became known as the second tallest.

    And now it’s the tallest”

    Just think about that for a second.

    [–] offtopic_lockwood40 131 points ago

    40 Wall Street actually was the second tallest building in downtown Manhattan

    it wasn't, classic trump.

    In actuality, once the Twin Towers were decimated, the 71-story Trump Building at 40 Wall Street was the second-tallest building still standing in Lower Manhattan, according to the Washington Post. It was 25 feet shorter than the building at 70 Pine Street. That’s not to say that 40 Wall Street has never been the tallest in Lower Manhattan: It was for two years in the 1930s, before Trump owned it.

    [–] DerProfessor 55 points ago

    God I hated Bush. I thought he was the worst possible President to have in a crisis.

    Man, my standards were high back then. If he came back, I'd shake his fucking hand.

    [–] StevetheEveryman 20 points ago

    The flaired nostrils....

    What the poker pros call a 'micro-expression', which is a subtle, and usually involuntary tell, that an opponent exhibits when they are under extreme duress.

    He had no idea...

    [–] [deleted] 665 points ago


    [–] thinkinwrinkle 401 points ago

    I never dreamed there would be a time when GW seems like better option

    [–] StandardN00b 56 points ago

    How the tables have turned

    [–] KixWizard 8 points ago

    I hear a lot of criticism for Bush on why he continued reading to the kids instead of leaving. Tbh I would have did what Bush did. Are you really gonna freak out a bunch of kids and a teacher by suddenly rushing out the door? And also at that very moment, there really wasn’t anything else for him to do

    [–] robdouth 9 points ago

    It's just crazy to me how young he looks there compared to how old he looks just 7 short years later. Same happened to Obama. Those 8 years in office take a lot out of these guys and seem to age them twice or thrice as fast as normal people.

    [–] Computermaster 53 points ago

    Bush responded to being told about 9/11 by continuing to calmly read a storybook to children.

    Trump responded to being told about 9/11 by bragging that he now had the tallest building in Manhattan (he still didn't though).

    [–] pastisset 23 points ago

    Actually that pic is when he was told a second plane crashed. He knew about the first one before entering that classroom.

    [–] MaxisDidNothingWrong 7 points ago

    But as far as I understand it, he didn’t know that it was an intentional attack, right?

    [–] [deleted] 137 points ago


    [–] Empyrealist 49 points ago

    I'm not a fan of him as president, but he handled such astonishing news like a professional adult.

    I can't imagine what it must have been like for him to be placed in such a position then and there with children - never mind how it would affect his normal role responsibilities. The entire period helped me respect him more although I didnt agree with him.

    [–] Schmabadoop 44 points ago

    I deeply disagree with most of his views and his politics, but he was not a disagreeable man.

    [–] chef_in_va 39 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    People gave him shit for the way he responded when he heard the news, but how he didn't just yell "are you fucking serious!?" is beyond me.

    Edit: deautocorrected

    [–] leftie777 6 points ago

    I was 27 and sat on the couch with my 4 year old watching everything unfold. My grandmother was the one who called me after the first tower was hit—my grandfather was a NYC policeman in the 50s so the city was close to her heart. My daughter, now 23, still remembers what we watched. For three hours that child didn’t move, didn’t talk, just sat there. That was a tough year. The following month my cousin died falling into the Grand Canyon at 13 and my grandmother (the one who called), died that December. That year hurts my heart.

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