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The consoler in chief: Rare and candid collection of images show a solemn President George W. Bush in the moments and days after 9/11 terror attacks

At the time the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center's North Tower on September 11, 2001, then-President George W. Bush was participating in a reading demonstration with children at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida (above). His discussion with the young students ended quickly as he rushed to an empty classroom to receive updates on the situation as it unfolded. A collection of images that are a part of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum focus on Bush’s leadership during the tragic time in America’s history
After he learned of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Bush was ushered out of the classroom with students and into an empty room. He can be seen in one photo on the phone gathering information while his Director of Communications Dan Bartlett points to news footage on a television showing the North Tower burning (above)
Another gripping image captured moments later shows everyone in the empty class room at Emma E. Booker Elementary School watching footage showing clouds of smoke fill the sky as the second flight hits the South Tower (above) 
The heart-wrenching photo above shows huge clouds of smoke rising from the site of the World Trade Center after both the North and South Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001
Pictured above is a satellite image showing the smoke and dust plume across lower Manhattan captured by NASA's Landsat 7 in space after the horrific September 11 attacks that left the Twin Towers collapsed into heaps of rubble
Other images from that day show Bush aboard Air Force One during the flight from Sarasota, Florida to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana watching coverage of the attacks and taking phone calls from Vice President Dick Cheney and others (above)
President Bush is pictured above with a solemn expression on his face standing behind his desk on Air Force One while watching television coverage of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001
An F-16 fighter jet is pictured above escorting Air Force One from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska to Andrews Air Force Base on September 11, 2001
After departing Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, President Bush is pictured above left on the phone with then-Vice President Dick Cheney from Air Force One on September 11, 2001, during the flight to Andrews Air Force Base.
Firefighters unfurl a large American flag over the scarred stone of the Pentagon on September 12, 2001, in Arlington, Virginia 
President Bush is pictured above touring the World Trade Center disaster site aboard Marine One on September 14, 2001, with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, left, and New York Governor George Pataki. The city's skyline can be seen from the window next to Bush
President Bush is pictured above emotionally embracing a firefighter part of the rescue efforts at the site of the World Trade Center on September 14, 2001, during his visit to New York City while touring the damage 
 Standing on top of a crumpled fire truck with retired New York City firefighter Bob Beckwith, President Bush is pictured above left rallying firefighters and rescue workers on September 14, 2001. During an impromptu speech at the site of the collapsed World Trade Center towers in New York City, he said: 'I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.' 
Two firefighters look on while Bush spoke
Standing upon the ashes of the attack upon the World Trade Center with retired New York City firefighter, Bob Beckwith, President Bush is pictured above holding an American flag on September 14, 2001, after addressing recovery workers in New York City
Several other gripping images included in the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum show Bush emotionally embracing the family members of those who lost loved ones in the horrific attacks that forever changed the United States (above)
President Bush is pictured above speaking on September 14, 2001 in new York City with Arlene Howard who presented him with the police badge found on the body of her son, Port Authority Police Officer George Howard, who died during rescue efforts during the terror attack
The World Trade Center rescue site in New York City is seen the evening of Friday, September 14, 2001, from Marine One after President Bush departed the city
President Bush is pictured above speaking with community leaders after touring the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. on Sept. 17, 2001
President Bush and Cheney are joined by dozens of White House staff members on Tuesday, September 18, 2001, as they observe a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn 
Staff members gathered on the South Lawn of the White house to wave American flags on Friday, September 21, 2001, as President Bush and Mrs. Laura W. Bush depart for Camp David aboard Marine One (above)
The Tribute in Light is pictured above rising above the lower Manhattan skyline on September 9, 2018 as the Statue of Liberty and new Freedom Tower can be seen nearby. The two blue pillars of light provide a visual reminder of how the Twin Towers, destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, once stood above the city skyline


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