NEW YORK - Just days after the horrific attack on Sept. 11, 2001 that destroyed the World Trade Center towers and killed nearly 3,000 people, U.S. President George W. Bush visited Ground Zero, standing with rescue workers, firefighters and police officers atop smoldering rubble of the fallen twin towers, giving a speech that went down in the history books.
On Sept. 14, 2001, the then-president gave his "bullhorn address" standing next to retired firefighter Bob Beckwith. Bush called out to the the first responders surrounded by wreckage as they mourned the loss of the thousands that perished just days before.
"I want you all to know that America today, America today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. This nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens," Bush said.
As Bush continued his speech in the chaotic setting using a megaphone that projected his voice, rescue workers yelled back, "We can’t hear you!"
"I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you," replied Bush. "And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."
As Bush paused, first responders could be heard chanting, "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"
"The nation sends its love and compassion to everybody who is here," Bush continued. "Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud and may God bless America."
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The 43rd president of the United States, Bush was informed of the 9/11 attacks while reading "The Pet Goat" to second-graders in Sarasota, Florida.
Apple+ and the BBC recently debuted "9/11: Inside the President’s War Room," which tells the story of the attacks through the eyes of the Bush administration.
Several members of the Bush administration gave their view of what happened on that day, including Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney. Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser on that day, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and White House chief of staff Andy Card also participated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.