91/11/2001: The Day That Changed America
A Busy Day for the President

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush honor the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks with a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. The silence was observed at 8:46 a.m. to mark when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Wide World)

Around the Nation
September 11 — President George W. Bush began the day on the White House lawn surrounded by administration officials and White House employees. At 8:46 he and First Lady Laura Bush led the group in bowing their heads in a moment of silence.

From there, his day became a whirlwind, which included visits to all three crash sites and a speech to the nation from Ellis Island.

At the Pentagon, he watched as a giant flag was unfurled on top of the rebuilt portion of the five-sided building.

"The enemies who struck us are determined," he said at the Pentagon ceremony. "They will not be stopped by a sense of decency or conscience, but they will be stopped."

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, he placed a wreath where United Flight 93 crashed, killing 40 people. The President also met privately with family members while a military choir sang in the background.

President Bush showed up at Ground Zero in the afternoon, after the morning reading of the names. He placed another wreath on the now sacred ground and spoke to the thousands of people present.

"For those who lost loved ones, it has been a year of sorrow, of empty places, of newborn children who will never know their fathers here on Earth," President Bush said. "For members of our military, it has been a year of sacrifice, and service far from home. For all Americans, it has been a year of adjustment — of coming to terms with the difficult knowledge that our nation has determined enemies, and that we are not invulnerable to their attacks."