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bush not to be present on 9/11/03 in NYC...

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  • bush not to be present on 9/11/03 in NYC...

    I looked to make sure this wasn't posted...Apologies if it's already appeared. This is from yesterday's NYP.

    WASHINGTON - Wait till next year. President Bush will lead the national remembrance on the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks - far away from Ground Zero.

    Bush will spend the day in Washington and send his No. 2, Vice
    President Cheney, to Thursday's memorial service on the hallowed World Trade Center site.

    The downgrade went down poorly with some victims' families. Bush will attend services at historic St. John's Episcopal Church for
    the victims of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 at the twin towers, at the Pentagon and in the Pennsylvania field where the fourth hijacked jet crashed.

    Afterward, the President and his staff will gather on the White House South Lawn for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. - the moment American Airlines Flight 11 smashed into the north tower.

    The night before, Bush will play host to a dinner and White House
    screening of "Twin Towers," a gripping documentary about a city emergency services unit decimated by the attacks.

    Administration officials vigorously defended the presidential no-show, saying Bush believes a more low-key observance is called for than last year, when the shock to the victims' families and the nation was more raw.

    "This is in no way an affront to the people of New York," a top
    official told the Daily News. "Not a day goes by that the image of those people in those buildings doesn't cross the President's mind. It's something he carries with him every day."

    Bush led the mourners at Ground Zero on the first anniversary of the
    attacks last year, and next year he will accept his party's nomination for reelection at the GOP convention in New York City nine days before the third anniversary.

    "Last year, people needed speeches," the official said. "This year, a quiet remembrance is more appropriate."

    Several Bush aides denied that his absence had anything to do with his slumping approval ratings in New York.

    Three days after the 2001 attacks, Bush rallied the nation and a heartsick city with a dramatic visit to the rubble. Shouting through a bullhorn, he vowed that New York would recover and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    His poll numbers spiked in the next few weeks but have dropped sharply since as worries have escalated about the state of the economy, the difficulties of rebuilding a postwar Iraq and complaints that the federal government is dragging its feet on the $21 billion aid package promised to help lower Manhattan rebuild and clean up its air.

    "Quite honestly, he probably would have gotten booed," Bill Doyle, who lost his son Joey in the attack, said of a Bush visit.

    Aides to Mayor Bloomberg were more diplomatic.

    "The President has been there for New York time and time again," said press secretery Ed Skyler. "And we are pleased that the vice president will be representing him on Sept. 11."

    Yesterday, Bush issued executive orders proclaiming the anniversary
    Patriot Day and designating it a national day of prayer.
    Last edited by DualReverse; 09-06-2003, 11:01 PM.
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