Ely Brown/ABC News
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    Teacher Sandra Kay Daniel and former students' from her second grade class at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., witnessed the moment when President George W. Bush learned America was under attack on Sept. 11, 2001. Now seniors in high school, Natalia Jone-Pinkney, Chantal Guerrero, Mariah Williams, Lazaro Dubrocq, and their teacher talked with "Nightline's" Cynthia McFadden.
    Ely Brown/ABC News
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    On Sept. 11, 2001, teacher Sandra Kay Daniels said there was a lot of "buzz" in the room. "Everyone had their hair done and new bows and everything," said Natalia Jones-Pinkney, one of Daniels' former students. Shown here, is President Bush shaking hands with student Lazaro Dubrocq, 7 years old at the time.
    Courtesy of The White House
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    That day's reading lesson was focused on the short story, "The Pet Goat." But the president already knew a plane had crashed in New York City before he walked into the classroom. "I had been notified that a plane had hit the World Trade Center," President Bush told National Geographic. "My reaction was, man, either the weather was bad or something extraordinary happened to the pilot."
    Orlando Sentinel (used with permission)
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    As the kids began reading the short story, "The Pet Goat," Andrew Card, the president's chief of staff, entered the room, walked over to the president, and whispered in his ear. Shown here is the cover of the children's reading book that contained the short story, that President Bush held on Sept. 11, 2001.
    Ely Brown/ABC News
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton, who was traveling with President Bush on Sept. 11, 2001, said that she knew then something was "direly wrong." "Nobody interrupts the president. Not even in front of a classroom of second graders," she said. President Bush then stayed in the classroom for seven minutes, sitting in silence as the children read aloud.
    Eric Draper, The White House/AP Photo
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    The students were just 7 years old at the time, but they could see on the president's face that something had happened. "He looked disconcerted, anxious," recalled Lazaro Dubrocq, another former student. "He was looking at the cameras, the walls." Daniels, the teacher, was also aware of a change in the room. "He left the room. Mentally he was gone."
    Courtesy of The White House
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    Shortly after receiving word about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush eventually rushed into an empty classroom next door to where the children were reading. Later, a member of the Secret Service informed Daniels of the attacks on the World Trade Center. She then had to explain it to her young students. "I told them something terrible had happened and President Bush needs to go," she said.
    Eric Draper, The White House/AP Photo
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    One year later, the students returned to their former second grade classroom, where their teacher greeted them with hugs. "What happened to us made us part of history," Daniels told "Nightline's" Cynthia McFadden. "And no matter where they go in life they will always be my babies."
    Orlando Sentinel (used with permission)
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    The students wrote their signatures inside the book President Bush had held on Sept. 11, 2001. Student Lazaro Dubrocq said he felt proud but sad. "You feel sorrow for the thousands of families who were destroyed that day," he said.
    Ely Brown/ABC News
  • Bush Kids Reading on 9/11, Then & Now

    The unforgettable experience the former students shared with President Bush was expressed in a letter dated Sept. 9, 2002 to Natalia Jone-Pinkney: "Dear Natalia, thank you for your letter and thanks for setting the important goal of graduating from college. You and I will never forget Sept. 11, '01. But remember, out of the evil done to America will come good. Best wishes George Bush."
    Ely Brown/ABC News
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus