On this day in history: Bush learns of 9/11 attack at Sarasota school

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Most Americans alive on Sept. 11, 2001 will never forget where they were when they heard news of the terror attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead cross New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Then-President George W. Bush was visiting Sarasota, just about seven months into his presidency, when he found out what was happening.

According to History.com, Bush was on his way to Emma E. Booker Elementary School when the first plane crashed at the World Trade Center in New York City.

The president was sitting in Room 301, a second-grade classroom at the school, reading with students when his chief of staff told him about the second crash.

“A second plane has hit the second tower,” Andrew Card whispered to him. “America is under attack.”

Bush reacted to the news with a look of shock. He explained his reaction in a news conference the following week. According to History.com, he said, “I’m sitting in the midst of a classroom with little kids, listening to a children’s story and I realize I’m the commander in chief and the country has just come under attack.”

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