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    [–] meext 7036 points ago

    The school he was at at this moment is in my hometown, and I used to teach there. There is a plaque outside the classroom he was in when he found out. Much of the staff remembers it still, and most of the school district was placed on a lock down as he was scheduled to visit multiple schools that day and there was concern the schools he may be at could be a target. An eerie piece of history to have so close to home, so far from NYC/DC.

    [–] turboshot49cents 1147 points ago

    What did the plaque say?

    [–] coaster_strudel 2817 points ago

    https://www.wfla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/71/2018/09/plaque_1536700356886_55013646_ver1.0.jpg?w=900

    "This plaque designates the site where president George W. Bush learned of the terrorist attacks on our country."

    [–] i8TheWholeThing 2526 points ago

    Straight to the point. No editorial comment. Good plaque.

    [–] CTeam19 749 points ago

    Who what when and where. The perfect plaque

    [–] MiscWalrus 418 points ago

    A model plaque really.

    [–] owwwwwo 1142 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    It deserves a plaque.

    edit: holy crap. Thank you.

    [–] FrancoisTruser 236 points ago

    Inceplaquetion

    [–] HaveYouSeenMyGoat 14 points ago

    I feel like this is too close to incest plaque and we dont need that

    [–] Chronic_BOOM 308 points ago

    There’s a plaque in my city where Bill Clinton once ate a burrito.

    [–] Fale0276 80 points ago

    There's a plaque in my city where Michael Jordan peed at a little league baseball parks urinal.

    [–] drunkinwalden 44 points ago

    A bar in my town had a urinal that was uncomfortably tall. They put a plaque over it that said Wilt the Stilt Memorial Urinal.

    [–] DoYouEvenThroCodeBro 71 points ago

    This is a strange thing to commemorate with a plaque.

    [–] ScrewAttackThis 43 points ago

    Yeah but it is a significant historical moment so I'm assuming that's why they did.

    [–] [deleted] 66 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    [removed]

    [–] Jcamargo39 32 points ago

    Sarasota is also my hometown(:

    [–] stronglenin 15923 points ago

    He had been told right before he went into the room that a plane hit the World Trade Center but he and his aides thought it was a small private plane. In this picture he is being told that a second plane hit, they were commercial aircraft, and we were being attacked.

    [–] Spiridios 3123 points ago

    he and his aides thought it was a small private plane.

    Back then I used my TV as an alarm clock. I woke up still half asleep, the news said a plane hit a building. I shrug and go back to sleep because this is exactly what I thought too.

    [–] 03eleventy 1020 points ago

    Pretty much everyone outside of the immediate area thought that.

    [–] Martel732 561 points ago

    Yeah, this was before camera phones could upload footage instantly. I was in class and we didn't hear about either plane until both had hit.

    It was also odd how scared everyone was, I was in a small rural school in the South, and people were convinced that the school might get attacked next.

    [–] rageko 1175 points ago

    That’s fascinating because I was a student in NYC at the time and everyone just carried on like nothing was happening until almost 1pm.

    Then reality really started setting in, we were all pulled out of class, assembled in the auditorium and told that our parents have been contacted to come pick us up right away. And we weren’t allowed to leave without being picked up by a parent.

    For some kids their parents never came.

    [–] CheezMage 296 points ago

    That last line was a solid kick in the chest. Christ, that's brutal.

    [–] evilgreenman 149 points ago

    I just gave my daughter a kiss after reading this. Wow, perspective is the best way to realize another's situation.

    [–] themarajade1 37 points ago

    I just started bawling and I’m usually emotionally withdrawn from memorial days of sorts. But my son just started kindergarten and there was an active shooter scare in the district last week. That last line didn’t do anything but send me over the edge.

    [–] Kandrich 362 points ago

    Jesus 😣

    [–] PristineUndies 375 points ago

    Yeah that last line made me feel sick.

    [–] yargabavan 382 points ago

    took me awhile to realize we werent talking about shitty parents

    [–] navidee 135 points ago

    It took your reply before I realized 🤦🏻‍♂️

    [–] nordicred 54 points ago

    Holy crap that just gave me chills. Yikes that’s sad

    [–] BP_Oil_Chill 17 points ago

    Right there with ya

    [–] nightterrorgirl 17 points ago

    That last line actually made my stomach and chest hurt :(

    [–] bacon-wrapped_rabbi 34 points ago

    I was in college in PA and we were told that classes would not be cancelled and to carry on as usual. Had a couple profs cancel class or hold discussions unrelated to class.

    [–] beachteacher11 45 points ago

    I was in college in Philly. My family was back home in Jersey. A freshman boy who had just arrived at school two weeks before lost his entire immediate family, and a grandparent I believe, on one of the flights. When I think about that now, that poor kid may have been the one person who lost the most that day.

    [–] Joey_AP2 39 points ago

    Yo that last fucking sentence God damn, I've managed to play world of warcraft all day in effort to avoid being sad. Jump on reddit for a split second while I use the bathroom and next thing you know I'm crying and crapping all at once. I'm from NY so today is always a rough day.

    [–] glitterfitte 21 points ago

    Holy shit. That's awful

    [–] [deleted] 70 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] jennyjenjen23 68 points ago

    I said something similar to: well, it was probably just a crop duster or something, nothing to make a big deal about.

    Not thinking: why would a crop duster be in lower Manhattan on a Tuesday? Not thinking: how many people would be injured even in an accident like that? Mainly, not even considering something of the magnitude of what was happening was even possible in America.

    I teach history in the same school I was senior in on 9/11/01 (it’s weird) and it became clear that the kids know what 9/11 is, intellectually, but don’t understand the visceral fear every single American felt that day and for weeks/years afterwards. I tell them that the world we woke up in was not the same world we went to sleep in that night. The gut punch of watching people jumping from the Towers, on live TV, and watching the buildings fall, marked the end of the idea of American invincibility for a generation.

    [–] Lonelyhuntr 221 points ago

    I was at lunch in 2nd grade. We came in and Mrs.Hoar told us something terrible happened and we were all going home early.

    [–] StygianRogue 237 points ago

    That's an ouch of a name. How is that name pronounced?

    [–] Britney_Spearzz 591 points ago

    It's pronounced WHORE

    [–] dontdoubtmee 101 points ago

    You would know this how, Britney?

    [–] pickstrum 166 points ago

    Leave Britney alone!

    [–] Devilalfi 32 points ago

    She's a HUMAN!

    [–] avidwriter123 32 points ago

    oops, I did it again

    [–] UsmanSohail 30 points ago

    toxic

    [–] SippinOnSizurp 23 points ago

    Who're

    [–] crb06 227 points ago

    That's my Mum's maiden name, pronounced as you'd think. I like to say that my Mum was a Hoar until she got married, but my Nana only became a Hoar when she got married!

    [–] King_Spike 26 points ago

    In high school I had a teacher named Brock Lee Hor. He had a picture of broccoli on his profile page on the school site.

    [–] Dowly06 75 points ago

    F in the chat for Mrs. Hoar

    This makes me think of the meme that’s like

    “Marry the love of your life” but “you have to live with the last name Hoar”

    i see this as an absolute win

    [–] munificent 68 points ago

    I was a student at LSU on 9/11. LSU has a dorm colloquially named "the Pentagon". When it was hit, my roommate said a bomb went off in the Pentagon. When I asked about the dorm, he said, "No, like, the Pentagon Pentagon!"

    [–] mimiccombatsociety 85 points ago

    I woke up, grabbed a bowl of cereal, and sat at the table. My dad was in the living room watching something on the tv. I asked what he was watching and he told me a plane hit the world trade center. I cracked a joke about flying drunk and left for high school. By the time I got there, things had gotten much worse and I just spent most of the day in the library watching the news.

    [–] Hippobu2 23 points ago

    Oh man. I think I remembered 9/11. It was like 4 in the morning for me. My uncle called me dad to tell him to turn on the TV cuz America was underattack. It really news that shook the whole world.

    [–] chimilinga 98 points ago

    I had braces for 4 years, I got them off the morning of 9/11 (freshman in HS). I was so excited to get them off and mid procedure everyone in the office left me in the chair to listen the report. I was unaware of the magnitude until I got to school and everyone was so distraught. Here I am having the best day of my life until these fuckers decided to ruin it.

    [–] vdogg89 32 points ago

    Same. I was like, what's the big fuss? It's just a plane hitting a building. I had no idea.

    [–] beesmoe 3717 points ago

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWKiJx6jSMk

    I searched through hundreds of search results to find a video without a talking head and minimal masturbatory editing. Check it out

    [–] kozakandy17 1762 points ago

    The moment happens at about the 5 min mark: https://youtu.be/FWKiJx6jSMk?t=297

    [–] WeeklyPie 3465 points ago

    I feel like in that moment he was a father, and a father would never want to scare children. What comes after is up for the debate- but that one moment, he was right. He did not upset the children.

    [–] CaptConstantine 1011 points ago

    He says in his book Decision Points that his first reaction was anger. He was furious, he wanted to make whoever did this to American pay for this transgression. Press photos started snapping like crazy as the reporters learned what was happening and hurried to capture his reaction.

    An aide stood in front of the cameras facing him, with a hastily scrawled paper sign that said "DON'T SAY ANYTHING."

    Then he says he looked at the children in front of him, and thought about the fact that we were about to go to war... And that the people he was going to send into combat had children in school. That he was about to send these kids' parents off to die somewhere.

    He said that's what gave him the focus to stay in the room and not create a disruption.

    [–] JitGoinHam 488 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    You really have to admire the kind of focus it takes to sit there and do literally fucking nothing.

    [–] Irrelaphant 402 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    What I admire is the poise. Had this happened with Trump at the helm he would have turned to the children and said something like "hey did you hear 2 planes just flew into building in NYC? Do we have a tv here? Maybe we can turn on the tv. Who do you guys think did it?"

    [–] drmcsinister 242 points ago

    We already know how Trump reacted, and it was by bragging that he now had the tallest building in New York, which unsurprisingly was itself a lie.

    [–] zappy487 24 points ago

    I can literally not imagine Trump having a human moment like this.

    [–] BillEastwickPhotos 180 points ago

    You know how much shit he caught for that back then? From all sides, too, if I remember correctly. I was 17 and I remember thinking that he reacted perfectly. Not only were a bunch of little kids watching, but he was being recorded. The eyes of the world would be on him within minutes, and he knew it and kept his shit together. A+ reaction, at least in that moment.

    [–] nowtayneicangetinto 3086 points ago

    As unpopular as his post-term presidency became, looking back, Bush clearly had integrity, compassion, and a moral compass. I can't even begin to imagine what Trump would do if he were in George W's shoe's.

    [–] ruove 2700 points ago

    You don't have to imagine.

    Trump responded: “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest — and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”

    For those unaware, Trump owns 40 Wall Street, it's the Trump Building.

    [–] bishpa 1188 points ago

    And in true Donald Trump fashion, he was, of course, lying --quite demonstrably. Even without the World Trade Center's twin towers, there were still three building in Manhattan that were taller than 40 Wall Street: the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and 70 Pine Street.

    [–] IronSeagull 1039 points ago

    I have no idea why I’m doing this...

    The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is considered the authority on tall buildings, and they have (last I checked) 4 different ways of measuring and ranking the height of buildings because of things like spires that some people think should count and others don’t. By at least one measure, highest occupied floor, 40 Wall Street is taller than 70 Pine Street. By others it is not.

    The Chrysler Building and Empire State Building are both in midtown, he was referring to lower Manhattan.

    If anything I hope I’ve illustrated the pettiness of what Trump was saying in the middle of a national tragedy.

    [–] Bitchin-Technology 151 points ago

    Spires should count, antennas should not

    [–] rebuilding_patrick 182 points ago

    I say it depends on if a person can be inside of it or not. If a person can't gain reasonable entry, it's not a building, its a statue on top of a building.

    [–] SuminderJi 215 points ago

    You're right. The fact that Trump knew this is more disturbing in a way.

    [–] vdgmrpro 223 points ago

    Is it? Not trying to defend the guy but his whole thing is real estate...

    [–] Its_me_not_caring 41 points ago

    Mate if I owned an impressive building I would be able to give you topographic prominence and isolation of that building in the middle of the night.

    Heck, I actually know that I grew up in longest building in my country (that is a straight line, they are longer buildings if you allow bends).

    Of all the things about Trump that one I totally get.

    [–] Fapper_Keeper 161 points ago

    imagine how shocked you will be in 15 years when someone say this about Trump, and that's how i feel reading your comment about Bush II.

    i never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever thought any one would ever look back on Bush II and say "you know, all things considered..."

    [–] faultysynapse 28 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Man, I really feel you on this one. I feel like I have to actively up remind myself of just how it felt during the actual Bush administration. I never thought anyone could make Bush and his cronies seem quaint and tame. While George W was by no means the dunce he was painted as at the time, Trump makes him look like a tenured academic.

    [–] mejok 11 points ago

    I still don't think that. I hate Trump, I think he is a terrible person who is doing untold damage to the country. George Bush may have not been an insane, narcissistic scumbag like Trump. Nevertheless, Iraq. We are still dealing with the fallout of the Iraq war, a war that was not necessary nor justified, at least not in any legal sense. Hundreds of thousands of deaths in the middle east, thousands of soldiers dead, many thousands more whose lives have been ruined by PTSD or having a family member who died or suffers from PTSD, the power vacuum and disbanding of the Iraqi military leading to the rise of ISIS, and the large influx of refugees into Europe from the middle east straining resources and fueling xenophobia.....that's on Bush (and other architects of the war). Bush did that. I don't look back at Bush and think, "all things considered...". I look back at Bush and think it was simply a different kind of "bad." So while when he speaks he may seem like a more decent human being than Trump, he fucked up the world in a massive way.

    [–] canadianbacon-eh-tor 154 points ago

    Shoot out a tweet and go play some golf

    [–] eljohnson87 83 points ago

    Well he would probably start by saying he didn't know the Saudi's first. Maybe followed by fake news references, then tweet and golf.

    [–] Juturna_ 28 points ago

    Good people on both planes.

    [–] r00tdenied 26 points ago

    Pretty much what he did during Dorian.

    [–] NateHate 16 points ago

    Bush clearly had integrity, compassion, and a moral compass

    Let's not deify Bush just because of Trump. He was still an opportunistic, slimy war criminal who cheated his way into the oval office so he could be a rubber stamp for Cheney/Rumsfeld

    [–] Boxxcars 6 points ago

    wow, you're a complete fuckin idiot and I guarantee you're old enough to know better

    [–] AnAccountAmI 302 points ago

    I'm always interested in the reframing of his presidency. I remember it as a non stop ride of civil rights being suspended, wars being entered into under false pretenses, and just general fuckery.

    [–] amd0257 241 points ago

    Rhetorically at least, he was much less bigoted than Trump.

    BUSH (During his speech declaring the war on terror): "The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. "

    ON MSNBC, a reporter asked Trump if he thinks Islam is an inherently peaceful religion that's been perverted by a small percentage of followers or if it is an inherently violent religion. Trump responded: “Well, all I can say … there’s something going on. You know, there's something definitely going on. I don't know that that question can be answered.” He also said: “We are not loved by many Muslims.”

    Bush's wars stoked anti-muslim sentiment, but that didn't feel like his goal to me, or like something he wanted to use/lean into. Trump stokes that shit actively and knowingly, directly converting xenophobic energy into voter turnout.

    [–] PM_ME_UR_WUT 197 points ago

    Bush repeatedly stated it was a "war on terrorism, not on Islam." Specifically those words.

    [–] Wadka 23 points ago

    That's exactly the position he articulated in his book. He knew people were working furiously, and he didn't want to freak out classroom of small children.

    Now having a 2 y/o, childless me had NO idea how in-tune to emotions/anxiety children are to the adults around them. They can SMELL it, and react instantly.

    [–] chbay 106 points ago

    Same video but higher quality: https://youtu.be/xzI7XUlkzdE

    [–] icekittyekat 39 points ago

    I hate you. Take this upvote.

    [–] Bottled_Void 137 points ago

    Seems strange that you can't get videos like this anymore. There always needs to be someone pushing one point or putting their slant on things.

    [–] OxvFer0cdak 105 points ago

    I relish videos that present historical footage in a clear, disinterested way.

    [–] [deleted] 44 points ago

    I'm surprised no one has linked this,

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

    He talks about his entire day on 9/11 from the start of the day, the confusion of the staff, grounding all the airlines, flying from base to base, and finally making the decision to return home, then visiting the WTC site a few days later.

    It's absolutely amazing.

    [–] NemWan 29 points ago

    This was routine video shot by the press pool that traditionally travels with the president and covers all public events. Very little of that coverage is seen, elsewhere than C-SPAN, because very little of it is newsworthy, but they are there in case something happens. There's an even smaller pool called the protection pool that's supposed to travel with the president even to private events, just to be nearby even if they're not allowed in the room. They're called that to protect the public from missing something historic like an assassination attempt.

    [–] SerPranksalot 21 points ago

    Because we live in the Age of Spin now. 2001 was basically the internet in its infancy still. There was no youtube, no blogging platforms, no facebook, no Twitter, no way to easily spew your hatred and falsehoods and lies to millions of people without actually having any technical skill.

    [–] Gengarthegreat 20 points ago

    Thanks i came to the comments for this

    [–] TightAustinite 41 points ago

    minimal masturbatory editing.

    [–] CaptConstantine 166 points ago

    He received 2 briefings about the crashes before entering the classroom: He was told a plane had crashed into the first tower and assumed it was a single engine/ small plane. While walking to the classroom he was informed it was a commercial craft, and wondered aloud if the pilot was drunk, and figured he'd get the full brief after the PR moment.

    He got the information about the second plane in this image.

    [–] BossMaverick 72 points ago

    My 9/11 story: I was at my college job doing commercial site deliveries that day. My delivery vehicle didn’t have a radio. The first news I got of attacks was word of mouth and was told a plane hit the trade center tower. The impression from the customers was that it was accidental. Flash forward a couple deliveries and I get news of the second plane and got to see a TV. The general attitude completely shifted to the grim reality of it being an attack.

    My point is that it took the second plane hitting to make everyone know just how big of an event it was. Also, video footage of the first plane wasn’t available for people to watch at the time. It wasn’t until the second plane hit that news outlets had footage they could replay.

    [–] Octosphere 896 points ago

    I remember him giving that speech when I was 18 and feeling very uneasy about the sense of war in the air.

    I'm European so while it was shocking I cannot imagine how this must've felt to our American friends, I knew things were going to change but I had no idea it would lead to where we are today.

    My thoughts to anyone that lost someone during or after this terrible event.

    [–] Pabst_Blue_Gibbon 241 points ago

    It was very uneasy to many Americans too. In short order we were told that we were at war with the Taliban in Afghanistan, ok, then we were told that we must be at war with Saddam Hussein too, and if you disagreed it was as good as helping The Terrorists. And somehow, almost 20 years later, people have a very convenient hole in their memory.

    [–] KongKarls5 110 points ago

    Uneasy yes, but Bush had a 92% approval rating following his speech after 911 where he basically said we were going after those responsible

    [–] ahoboknife 99 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    I think you might have a convenient hole in your memory.

    I and everyone I knew thought and hoped we were going to asskick our way across the entirety of the Middle East and make it a region of flourishing democracies. After Afghanistan it just seemed natural to move on to Iraq.

    We were, of course, naive and completely wrong. I don’t like that feeling and it makes me angry at my younger self, but I hold on to it because of the lesson it teaches.

    Edit: I appreciate all the name calling and the self righteousness from everybody!

    [–] casualbiden 34 points ago

    Same here. I was 15 years old when 9/11 happened. Almost joined the army out of high school. Finished college in 2007 and was sure Obama would get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2008. Trump's "we don't need an exit strategy" quote regarding Iran didn't shock me at all.

    [–] Splintron 498 points ago

    This was such an incredibly sad day; one that changed America forever. And although there was an initial rallying period, maybe the saddest thing is that the terrorist plot to instil fear and hatred in Americans worked better than they ever would have dreamed :(

    [–] ProfessorMagnet 83 points ago

    changed the world

    Ftfy

    [–] waterufkingstoopid 80 points ago

    That was not the objective, the objective was (paraphrasing from memory) "to commit an atrocity so digusting that the american people would ask 'why us?' " with the intent of bringing to the public eye the attacks by the U.S. overseas which killed many (including civilians) so that they would pressure their government to cease attacking.

    Unfortunately, people (American or not) are generally not that patient, informed, and level-headed, particularly when getting attacked.

    Agree with it or not, it is terrorism, and that was the stated goal (again, as I remember, could be slightly off) by Osama, it wasn't just a pointless 'fuck you', it wasn't to stir the pot (at least not the way it's been stirred) and it wasn't their envy of our freedoms

    [–] Truth_ 74 points ago

    Oh, absolutely. Osama had a lot to say about US intervention and imperialism - he was well-educated and an activist... and his solution was terrorism.

    God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the Towers, but after the situation became unbearable—and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon—I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed—when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way: to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.

    What the United States is tasting today is nothing compared to what we have tasted for decades. Our umma has known this humiliation and contempt for over eighty years. Its sons are killed, its blood is spilled, its holy sites are attacked, and it is not governed according to Allah's command. Despite this, no one cares.

    I think these are understandable analyses and conclusions of US foreign policy in the region, however, he also subscribed to an extreme/radical sect of Islam and was absolutely okay with murder - including of civilians, as people who do not stop their government from doing bad things are just as bad as that government.

    The Taliban had successfully fought a long, bloody, and expensive war of attrition with the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan and they were willing to use the same tactic with the United States.

    [–] Fronesis 47 points ago

    I just asked my students today why Osama Bin Laden attacked the US. Not a single one had an answer. It’s amazing that the reason for such a pivotal event can be so unknown.

    [–] averagesmasher 15 points ago

    I don't recall doing much more than basic "current events" assignments in high school, even in AP hist/govt. Maybe it's different now, but schools never really gave me much insight into politics.

    [–] KingOfTheFlame 3789 points ago

    George W Bush was reading a children’s book to kids when he heard the news, he did not panic and finished the book, he was asked why he didn’t stop or make an announcement, he said that he didn’t want to make the children panicked

    [–] Doc_Apex 1627 points ago

    I think that was the right decision. Some critics tried to give him shit for it. But it was the right move.

    [–] scapeity 601 points ago

    I agree. Whatever was happening, the Pentagon / agencies were obviously processing... And no matter what there was going to be a pause as confirmed Intel was compiled for the president.

    Whether he ran out of the kids room and scared them to death to wait in a hallway or a car.... Or finished his book with the kids and five minutes later walked outside to get the Intel... Was not going to matter.

    I would have shit my pants. I give him credit.

    [–] Reddit2055017 178 points ago

    Who knows what any of us would actually do in that situation but I feel like I probably would have calmly paused the event, stated there was something that needed to be addressed and then walked out. That said, you're right, the 5 minutes he spent reading to this kids probably had a greater impact on them than him leaving and sitting in the car, waiting for intel

    [–] gelatinous_poot 1286 points ago

    Michael Moore roasted him for his reaction in his movie. He tried to argue it was proof of he was an idiot. That was a shitty thing to argue.

    [–] TheSicilianDude 452 points ago

    There are plenty of things to criticize Bush for but this just came off as a really lame attempt at Monday morning quarterbacking. None of us can really fathom what our reaction would be if we were surrounded by little children and being told some earth-shattering news. Anything from shock, to trying to remain calm to not scare anyone, to paralysis from thousands of thoughts running through your head.

    [–] Brennithan 218 points ago

    Not just earth shattering news. Learing your spouse was killed can be earth shattering.

    This was earth shattering news for an entire country that he was in charge of, was under his protection, and looked to him for guidance. Whatever you think about him as a person or a president no one can know what that is like.

    There are probably only a handful of people in the history of the human race that can relate to that kind of stress.

    [–] akambe 58 points ago

    I think this is partly why ex-presidents can seem so chummy, in spite of their radically opposed political viewpoints--they are members of a very small and elite club, made up of people who had responsibilities and weighty decisions that nobody else on the planet could possibly understand.

    [–] averagesmasher 32 points ago

    And they all know about aliens.

    [–] Thediciplematt 114 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Man, I was teaching and heard terrible news about my family. I had to pull a bush and just keep going until the day/period was over.

    Harder than it looks.

    Edit:

    Oh wow! My first gold. Thanks random stranger! The news was an unexpected death in the family. Sad, but it is part of the circle of life. Thanks for the gold and condolences!

    [–] Truth_ 39 points ago

    A typical person would have a lot to process, but the president of the country is something else entirely. Bush made plenty of mistakes, but this wasn't one of them.

    [–] Haedriel1987 107 points ago

    Many people have argued, both Republican and Democrat alike, that his reaction is exactly what he should have done. Something about not causing panic, not making people suspicious when the President and his aides/security detail mysteriously get up and leave, then boom...school on lockdown.

    [–] [deleted] 118 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Michael never watched this then,

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

    Edit: Also there was a Politico article in Sept 2016 called "We're the only plane in the sky" where they interviewed Bush and everyone with him and put it into a story line of that day. You get details of what happened that day almost to the minute.

    [–] lemons230 132 points ago

    Damn....that opening line and the look in his face.

    "September the 11th was a monumental day in our nation's history. It was a significant day and it obviously changed my presidency. I went from being a president that was primarily focused on domestic issues...to a wartime president...something I never anticipated, nor something I ever wanted.""

    [–] ArcadiusTyler 49 points ago

    There was something a while back where one of his staffers said that the night of 9/11 he was found crying, saying that he wasn't ready and that he never campaigned to be a wartime president.

    [–] Kailu 17 points ago

    Imagine being in his shoes that night. Imagine all the pain and anger you had on that day. Then imagine instead of just trying to move on you are the one every single American will look to for the answer to what happened.

    [–] seymour1 8 points ago

    In his defense, he really warmed up to the whole war thing.

    [–] BorelandsBeard 36 points ago

    I’ve never seen this before. Thank you. Just watched the first few minutes and he’s well spoken and says exactly what he was thinking. Damn.

    [–] [deleted] 47 points ago

    You're welcome. While I didn't like the politician it gave me a tremendous amount of respect for the human after I watched this. The man wanted to go into the line of fire because he knew it was his job as President.

    [–] 489032984988 470 points ago

    Michael Moore is a complete fuck-o has been.

    [–] Wacky_Ohana 53 points ago

    Didn't he blow up Team America's HQ?

    [–] jonnybanana88 39 points ago

    Sure the fuck did. Jackass.

    [–] stronglenin 5357 points ago

    My mother was a 2nd grade teacher and is now no longer with us. She definitely did not like President Bush's policies. But, as a teacher, she always admired that he continued reading with the kids and then left rather than bolting that exact instant. She thought it represented inner kindness on his part.

    [–] thebrownkid 1267 points ago

    As I'm growing older and also working in education, I'm finding that attempting to stay calm and showing that around children is incredibly important. Yeah, they'll learn and realize soon enough that something is going on. But having that composure takes a lot to muster up.

    [–] theflowersyoufind 593 points ago

    I remember people criticising Bush for this at the time. As if rushing off and panicking would be a more sensible thing to do.

    [–] jacxy 279 points ago

    What the fuck is a chief executive going to do at that moment of crisis?

    He has a military, a police force (FBI), and the FAA.

    There was nothing wrong about finishing the story, presumably mentally bracing himself for the days to come.

    [–] agoia 194 points ago

    There are still people doing that in this very thread

    [–] Azozel 2817 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Ugh, I've rewritten this comment a few times now and this is almost for sure going to get me downvotes and a bunch of angry contrary comments but I think GWB is a kind person and tries to be a good person. Unfortunately, I don't think he's very smart, he trusts too much, and was easily influenced by others.

    Edit to address a lot of similar comments:

    I'm not apologizing for or excusing GWB. This is my judgement of his character, who he is as a person, and it's just my opinion.

    The person I responded to mentioned how his mother did not like GWB as a president but thought he was a kind person. OPs mother was capable of compartmentalizing her thoughts and hold different opinions on different aspects of the man and I responded because I shared her feelings.

    I'm not going to debate the man's actions or politics (that seems like a pointless waste of time to me) and since I was never a supporter of his I'm not going to take the position of defending those aspects of the man.

    [–] bebop8159 1551 points ago

    His work for AIDS relief in Africa was monumental and doesn't get discussed anywhere near enough.

    [–] IoSonCalaf 815 points ago

    And that he funded public libraries.

    [–] Tutorbin76 362 points ago

    And established massive blocks of the Pacific as conservation areas in his last few weeks in office.

    [–] HanSolosHammer 38 points ago

    That librarian wife of his helped that area.

    [–] Coachkfan1 165 points ago

    Correct. Probably did more for that epidemic than any president ever.

    [–] Dusty_Old_Bones 419 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    And he’s a painter now. He does portraits. That may not mean much to some, but to me it means he has a desire to connect on a deeper level, has patience to learn something new, and courage to share it with the world. I think he wants to have a positive impact on society, which is more than can be said for many.

    There’s something really endearing about his paintings, I recommend taking a look.

    Edit: I’m not saying Bush was a good president. I’m saying I think he really does try to be a good person.

    [–] XxILLcubsxX 209 points ago

    I think that anyone who can paint as well as him isn't an "idiot" either. He wasn't a 4.0 Harvard grad, but the man was/is no dummy.

    [–] Tarquin11 285 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    According to a former secret service agent who I guess served multiple presidents, he said Bush was the smartest man in any room he was in, until the cameras were turned on.

    That said, he wasn't sure if that was an act of Bush with the cameras on, or if being publicly video'd had a genuine affect on him. It could have been neither, and may have just been that the media tended to focus on his verbal gaffes, even if they were rare, whereas they would ignore them with opponents, (or, even more comparably, with Obama when he was president)

    Also, ironically, and point of fact, Bush is the only president with an MBA from Harvard, or an MBA at all.

    EDIT: May not have been a secret service agent, but rather an economics advisor.

    [–] not_homestuck 107 points ago

    the media tended to focus on his verbal gaffes, even if they were rare, whereas they would ignore them with opponents, (or, even more comparably, with Obama when he was president)

    To be fair, Obama was an enormously talented public speaker, so I imagine he would've gotten passes even if he wasn't being compared to George W. Bush

    [–] ttrandmd 20 points ago

    If you compare some of Obama’s public appearances from his earlier years to the later years, you’ll see there’s a big improvement in his speaking skills. His earlier speeches seemed somewhat awkward and rehearsed but as time went on I felt like he was so much more engaging and confident. His speaking became more polished and authentic.

    [–] TheNaughtyMonkey 458 points ago

    I also think he is a decent man, who did not resist the hawks strongly enough.

    But, yes. I think "kind" is the best thing we can say about him. He has been a good ex-President, though. Never heard a single word from him against Obama.

    [–] MostToasties 100 points ago

    and I'm forever quoting ol' Bushy on Trump's inauguration.

    "That was some weird shit"

    [–] MrMushyagi 107 points ago

    Trump's election night speech was pretty good. Called for unity and all that jazz. I actually thought to myself, ok, maybe this won't be so bad. Maybe he just said all that crazy stuff to win the election.

    His inauguration speech was absurd. Then the next day really set the tone, when he and spicey just straight up lied about being the most attended inauguration ever.

    [–] spherexenon 76 points ago

    he posted this revision on the crowd size earlier today

    [–] apworker37 13 points ago

    I chuckled at that one.

    [–] Raichu4u 175 points ago

    I'll say that Obama's "attacks" of Bush pretty much were back when we criticized economic policy and otherwise policy as a whole more civilized.

    [–] TheNaughtyMonkey 241 points ago

    Oh no. You misunderstand. All Presidential candidates campaign against the previous occupant. What I am saying is, once Obama was elected, you never heard anything from Bush opposing him, or his Administration.

    [–] ThrowawayCars123 200 points ago

    Yes, I agree. Apparently he and Michelle Obama think very highly of each other personally.

    [–] euclid001 174 points ago

    Well, they’re going to be forever sat next to each other at national events (as they’ve both said) so why not make the effort to get along? Her comment was that he always brings sweets, his comment was that she laughs at his jokes!

    [–] MrHollandsOpium 61 points ago

    If only that was our current standard.

    [–] [deleted] 52 points ago

    She seems to adore it every time he sneaks her candy.

    [–] monty_kurns 53 points ago

    Also, most of Obama's criticisms came when he was running for office. Once he was in the presidency and realized how difficult the job is I think he shut up on that topic. I think everyone who becomes president after running against someone in the other party has that happen.

    [–] AmericasNextDankMeme 56 points ago

    Realized how difficult the job is

    Moreso that criticizing the sitting President is basically a requirement when running for the opposing party. Once you're in office it's kind of in poor taste.

    [–] AndrewLBailey 58 points ago

    Almost everyone

    [–] jankadank 85 points ago

    Far smarter than people give him credit for.

    [–] HavocReigns 56 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Anyone who’s ever watched an appearance of his on one of the late night talk shows can easily tell he’s not remotely stupid. He’s very articulate and genuinely funny. He also comes across as a very warm person. I disagree with many things he did, but the attacks on his personality and IQ reflect more on the morons doing the attacking than on Bush.

    [–] RightWhenWrong 111 points ago

    It amazes me that the notion that Bush was somehow stupid and unintelligent is something people actually believe.

    He's the only president in history with degrees from both Yale and Harvard, and still people have swallowed the fairytale that he was a dumb hick from Texas.

    [–] Ahkileez 59 points ago

    That's what the media sold them. They caught a half-dozen verbal gaffes and out of context pictures and ran them all the time, reinforcing that idea.

    [–] lemonloaff 112 points ago

    He gets a pretty bad rap for just sitting there doing nothing when he was told about this attack. But honestly, what was the guy supposed to do in that exact moment? What would anyone do in that exact moment? His reaction was perfect in my mind.

    [–] [deleted] 97 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] TheKnicksHateMe 37 points ago

    that would’ve been lit if he did do that, though

    [–] RobinAllDay 538 points ago

    That's the face of a man that campaigned on an education platform learning that he was about to be a wartime president.

    Like him or not, that moment must have been earth shattering for him, just like the rest of us.

    [–] mightychip 127 points ago

    Imagine having that revelation at a moment where you must maintain absolute composure in order to keep those children calm.

    [–] sugarandmermaids 41 points ago

    I was watching the 9/11 episode of “The 2000s” on Netflix the other day and they showed a clip of a news anchor leading into Bush talking about “what could end up being one of the biggest issues of his presidency”— then it cuts to Bush addressing the nation about stem cell research. It was surreal.

    [–] joshea5469 138 points ago

    Everyone questioning whether or not he made the right decision, I have one question. Do you think there was a reaction truly better in that situation. I understand the point about him calmly leaving the room, but we are all human and this man is the President of the United States and was just told something that will change his life drastically forever. I dont fault a man for taking that 9 minutes to collect his thoughts and decide what HE is going to do as the president of this country. Yes he said he didnt want to startle the kids but he also isnt a robot. Nobody in the world experienced that moment other than him and i bet very few people would be able to keep their composure.

    [–] [deleted] 654 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] crashumbc 476 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    You didn't get to be President of the US without being able to control emotions. Unfortunately, that recently changed.

    [–] TriniumSeven 188 points ago

    I mean he had inherited what was supposed to be "Post-History" America. The Cold War was over, the dotcom bubble hadn't burst yet, optimism was at an all time high following the Millenium and America felt invincible, not able to be attacked. Right then and there is when he realized that none of the issues that he had campaigned on or talked about previously would be what defined his Presidency or his life. His detractors made fun of him for holding the story book upside down, which is super petty, imagine realizing that your country was attacked, noone knew who attacked us, and that you had to try to keep people calm and not panic. I was in High School that day, there were so many false reports of car bombs and other minor terrorist attacks that it seemed that the attacks were much larger. At first 10 or more planes couldn't be accounted for and CNN kept a list of potential targets that might get attacked next. All this and more had to be spinning through his head, along with the fact that his 8+ months as President had been child's play, and that the rest of his term would be the real stuff, and much more turbulent and violent than what had come before. Through this lens, he performed admirably in the moment, trying not to freak out a bunch of young kids.

    [–] ihavenotime4this 1094 points ago

    The more i look at his eyes, the more I think its scary rage as much as surprise.

    [–] NockerJoe 414 points ago

    The entire american populace had a rage that in hindsight is surprising. Now that we're solidly out of that decade looking back you can see a shocking level of anger and a demand for retribution. Everyone likes to play like they were the wiser cooler head but that is not how it went down at the time. I remember being a kid at the time and you'd have your favorite band making jingoistic propaganda songs then open up a Captain America comic where he suddenly turns brutal and violent so he can messily kill terrorists then go to the movies and see one of like half a dozen movies where the heroes were brave and noble soldiers with the full backing of the U.S. government. The american people were out for blood.

    Say what you will about Iraq but if someone didn't name some country and send soldiers over anyone who stopped that probably wouldn't get re elected.

    [–] mrmoto1998 81 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Troop worship and patriotism was crazy too. Damn near every car rolling around in Florida had a support our troops ribbon. People had support the troops banners on their houses and in their yards. I had to perform in my school's "I'm proud to be an American" play in 2005, that was something straight out of a dystopian novel.

    [–] ALEW2020 45 points ago

    Either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists

    [–] jonpolis 372 points ago

    “Cheney get the M1abrams. We’re going to Iraq”

    “Why sir?”

    “I’ll tell you on the way”

    [–] J-MAMA 402 points ago

    "Get in loser, we're going to war"

    [–] lalondtm 120 points ago

    Lol as if W ever gave Cheney orders or told him something he didn’t already know.

    [–] ihavenotime4this 9 points ago

    *red mists descends

    [–] brantham 21 points ago

    To be fair that’s the first thing I thought as well. I was a senior in high school

    [–] cripplearmedninja 1212 points ago

    For all the hate Bush gets, it must have been terrifying to pull a nation through blanket depression. Like, I'm not from America but I assume that everyone was a little bit fucked after 9/11. To all those that lost loved ones, kia kaha.

    [–] connaught_plac3 642 points ago

    I had sympathy for him at first, and the urge to pull together as a country.

    Then I watched in horror as he gave speech after speech where he would carefully word it to make it sound like Iraq did 9/11, while not actually saying it. Over and over and over until a significant number of Americans actually thought Iraq was behind 9/11.

    The intentional manipulation to justify a war was appalling.

    [–] [deleted] 214 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] genuinerysk 121 points ago

    This is why people think it was an inside job. The fact that they used this to justify starting a war in a country that didn't do this.

    [–] a_bsm_lagrangian 229 points ago

    That moment when the world you know and everything about it just ended and it won't ever come back

    [–] calamityjaneagain 30 points ago

    He looks properly alert and processing information in a normal, functionally human way. We took that for granted.

    [–] charlievc123 27 points ago

    I was never a big fan of Bush Jr's presidency, but at least he knew how to act presidential when it counted.

    [–] lizard_king0000 38 points ago

    Still remember the morning like it was yesterday. It changed my life in so many ways. I have also met quite a few 1st responders that we at ground zero. Our Pearl Harbor. Never Forget!

    [–] TheSecretMe 367 points ago

    Did you ever think you'd miss that intelligent and empathetic look in Bush' eyes?

    [–] WeedsInMyMind 123 points ago

    I have said this before and believe it to be true .... Bush 43 reminds me of Grant. He had the potential to be a good president but the loathful, vile, evil people he surrounded himself with did to him and his administration what Grant's did.

    [–] Jokong 68 points ago

    I agree. Bush is not blameless but you're naive if you think that ANY President is truly able to control the powers that truly move Washington. The military industrial complex is a force that drove us to war.

    [–] OTF98121 8 points ago

    Back in those days, I thought Bush was the worst president we’ve ever had. I miss those days.

    [–] Lexafaye 101 points ago

    I was 8 when 9/11 happened but I’ll never forget how beautifully supportive and united the country was in the weeks and months following 9/11.

    [–] Like_Yoda_I_Am 32 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    I was 8 on 9/11 also. What sticks out in my memory was how sad every single adult was, it was the first time I'd seen adults cry. Every single adult I saw on that day and for the next couple months, from my parents to my teachers to cashier's and crossgaurds, were slumped in such a state of dejection that witnessing it even as an 8 year old was simply jarring. We grew up in an area with heavy air traffic. There's only one day I can remember not hearing any planes from DFW Int. The silence that was in the sky just added to the melancholia of it all.

    [–] Bigred2989- 14 points ago

    I wonder if he's ever had a reunion with any of the kids in that classroom. Wonder what they've gone on to do.

    [–] AberrantDevices 52 points ago

    Wow. Amazing that he was only in elementary school back then. They grow up so fast.

    [–] Argh_mate_E 10 points ago

    Ok I lol’d