After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, heart-wrenching images surfaced and stirred the world.
On the 71st birthday of former President George W. Bush, it’s worth looking back on how he responded to what would be the defining moment of his presidency.
Photos released last year by the US National Archives show exactly when Bush learned the US was under attack.
President George W. Bush participates in a reading demonstration on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida.
Dan Bartlett, deputy assistant to the president, points to news footage of the attacks while President Bush listens to new security information.
President Bush watches television coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center during a briefing in the classroom.
President Bush takes notes as he listens to news coverage of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
President Bush calls New York Gov. George Pataki, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Vice President Dick Cheney. White House Chief of Staff Andy Card talks on a mobile phone.
President Bush delivers remarks to the nation, regarding the terrorist attacks on US soil, from the elementary school.
President Bush watches television coverage of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center from his office aboard Air Force One.
President Bush confers with staff by telephone, from his office aboard Air Force One, during the flight from Sarasota to Barksdale Air Force Base.
President Bush and his staff look out the windows of Air Force One at their F-16 escort while en route to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
President Bush confers with, from left, Karl Rove, Andy Card, Dan Bartlett, and Ari Fleischer before delivering remarks on the World Trade Center disaster from the General Dougherty Conference Center at Barksdale Air Force Base.
President Bush delivers remarks on the terrorist attacks before departing for Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
President Bush, Admiral Richard Mies, left, and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card conduct a video teleconference at Offutt Air Force Base.
President Bush speaks with Ari Fleischer, left, and Karl Rove aboard Air Force One during the flight to Andrews Air Force Base.
After departing Offutt Air Force Base for Washington, DC, President Bush talks on the phone with Vice President Dick Cheney from Air Force One.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice waits at the South Portico for President Bush to arrive at the White House.
Counselor Karen Hughes and Counsel Alberto Gonzales follow President Bush into the Oval Office after his return to the White House.
Working with his senior staff, President Bush reviews the speech that he will deliver to the nation in the evening.
President Bush talks with Vice President Dick Cheney in the President's Emergency Operations Center.
Laura Bush listens as her husband discusses the terrorist attacks with White House staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center.
President Bush and Laura Bush talk with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in the President's Emergency Operations Center.
After returning to the White House, President Bush meets with, from left, Vice President Dick Cheney, Chief of Staff Andy Card, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Special Agent Carl Truscott of the US Secret Service in the President's Emergency Operations Center.
After addressing the nation, President Bush meets with his National Security Council in the President's Emergency Operations Center.
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