(DCWatchdog.com) – President George W. Bush was “very powerful” when he stood up on the pile at Ground Zero to address the nation three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the firefighter who was next to him has recalled.
A video of that historic moment is at the bottom of this post.
Bob Beckwith, now 89, a former New York City fireman, was the firefighter standing by President Bush during the Bush’s speech on the site of the collapsed Twin Towers in Manhattan on September 14.
Beckwith recalled that moment in an interview that he gave to the Newsmax program “National Report” on Monday, the 22nd anniversary of Islamist network al-Qaeda’s suicide attacks in NYC and Washington, DC.
“I remember being up there with the president, and he was very powerful. He really was,” Beckwith stated.
On 9/11/2001, he had been retired for seven years but went to the World Trade Center site to help with the rescue and relief efforts after finding out that a friend’s son was among those missing after the attack.
Beckwith was seen worldwide as President George W. Bush put his left arm around him while addressing the Ground Zero rescue workers through a bullhorn.
“I was telling my kids, ‘I gotta get down there.’ And they’re telling me, ‘Don’t go, don’t bother, you’re too old.’” Beckwith recounted about his experience in the days after 9/11.
“I hope the [American] people will always remember [that day]. When I say ‘never forget,’ I mean it. It was a rough time for all of us, and we got through it,” he added.
The retired firefighter was asked if he knew what happened with the famous bullhorn that President Bush used at the time.
“Where the bullhorn is, I don’t remember. But I did speak to the president [after that]. I had been in his company many times. We were invited to the White House for Christmas parties,” he said.
Almost 3,000 people, including 2,624 Americans and over 300 foreign nationals, perished on September 11, 2001, when 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger jets and managed to crash two of them into the World Trade Center in New York and a third one into the Pentagon building in Washington, DC.