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Monday, September 11, 2006

The sneak thief visit

The stealth plane Bush used to come to
New York

Bush Mourns 9/11 at Ground Zero as New York Remembers

Published: September 11, 2006

Vowing that he was “never going to forget the lessons of that day,” President Bush paid tribute last night to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, laying wreaths at ground zero, attending a prayer service at St. Paul’s Chapel and making a surprise stop at a firehouse and a memorial museum overlooking the vast gash in the ground where the twin towers once stood.

The official commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the attacks, one of many memorial gatherings around New York and the United States yesterday, began without a word. The strains of bagpipes were all that could be heard as the president and Mrs. Bush, joined by Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, descended into the pit at ground zero under a steel-gray sky.

There, the president and the first lady set wreaths of red, white and blue flowers afloat in separate small reflecting pools, one in the footprint of each fallen tower. It was a hint of life in a place that still brims with memories of death, a reminder that even five years later, the attacks are not so very distant.

“Laura and I approach tomorrow with a heavy heart,” the president, visibly moved, said later, after an unscripted stop to shake hands with fire crews and view what he called “horrific scenes” inside a small gallery near ground zero established by relatives of trade center victims. “It’s hard not to think about the people who lost their lives on September the 11th, 2001. You know, you see the relatives of those who still grieve — I just wish there were some way we could make them whole.”

The president spoke outside the brick exterior of the firehouse for Ladder Company 10 and Engine Company 10, against the backdrop of a 56-foot-long bronze bas-relief depicting the towers in flames. Harking back to the theme of a series of speeches he delivered last week, he said he was reminded that “there’s still an enemy out there that would like to inflict the same kind of damage again.”

The president’s visit, on the eve of the anniversary, ushered in what will be a solemn day of remembrance of the attacks that tore through the city and the nation.

Is this Tuesday, or did Bush sneak into New York on Sunday while much of the city was watching football? Great.

posted by Steve @ 2:12:00 AM

2:12:00 AM

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