Presidents Obama and Bush commemorate 9/11 anniversary
September 11th, 2011
09:39 AM ET
10 years ago

Presidents Obama and Bush commemorate 9/11 anniversary

(CNN) – President Barack Obama with former President George W. Bush commemorated the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place in New York City on September 11, 2001 in a rare joint appearance Sunday.

The presidents, first lady Michelle Obama and Laura Bush were also joined by former President Bush and Laura Bush’s children, Barbara and Jenna Bush Hager, as well as Henry Hager, Jenna's husband.

The families observed a moment of silence at the North Memorial pool, which sits in the footprint of the North Tower. Following the moment of silence, President Obama and the first lady greeted surviving family members of 9/11 victims and political leaders including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Filed under: 9/11 • George W. Bush • New York • President Obama
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Benjamin

    I understand why bush and cheney would not testify before the 9-11 commission so long as they were under oath. I wouldn't want to be under oath, either, if I did what they did

    September 11, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Jam11

    No matter how much you blame Obama it all point to the disastrous policies of George W. Bush that are prelude to the problems Obama faces today and point out the obstructionist Republicans in the House and Senate, you are quickly dismissed as another “Bush basher” and an un-American “blame-America-first” socialist, or worse. Accordingly, they want to bury the recent Bush-Cheney history in order to lay all of our nation’s ills at the feet of President Obama, who is not perfect, but the man is truly 100 percent American and finds himself “between a rock and a hard place” not of his own doing. Expecting this president, elected by a majority of the American people, to be able to undo in 2 ½ years the disasters resulting from the Bush years is truly expecting Obama to be a miracle worker. There are the Bush tax cuts for his base – “the mores and the have mores;” the job losses that started under Bush which were at flood stage when he left office; the Bush Wall Street meltdown; the Bush housing market collapse; the Bush team being “on watch” during the attacks of 9-11; the illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq while keeping the cost of his wars off the books – estimated total cost is $4 trillion to $6 trillion; and the raiding of the Social Security trust fund of a few trillion dollars. Some righties act as though Bush left Obama a utopia, with a thriving, fiscally sound, strong, well-organized and regulated, honest 100 percent American Wall Street economy and government. And it was only the day Obama took over the running of this nation that all hell broke loose. That is their story, and they will repeat it over and over again

    September 11, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Tammy

    I understand why Bush had all the scrap metal quickly shipped off to China. before an adequate investigation could be done. It makes perfect sense, looking back on it. But, it's like they say, hindsight is always 20-20. Now, it's easy to see why certain things were done.

    September 11, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Jam11

    George W. Bush took office after three years of budget surpluses under President Bill Clinton. Eight years later, Obama walked into the Oval Office to find – gift-wrapped with a bow, as he recently joked – almost $11 trillion in Treasury debt, and deficits of more than $1 trillion a year for the foreseeable future. That's a $30,000 burden on every man, woman, and child in America, on top of the taxes they are already paying. Under better management, that number could have been zero

    September 11, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. dreucalypt

    It is a good thing to see Presidents of different parties together on solemn occasions like this one.

    September 11, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Spar0056

    I am not a bush fan, nor an Obama fan, but at some point in the last year I would imagine the bush said to Obama "it's not as easy as it looks, is it?", or Obama said, "I am sorry about some of the things I said about your foreign policy earlier". And I have never heard bush say this is all clinton's fault. The point is that these three men have all done the best they could with the info they had to protect America. Those people who say that Clinton is at fault would have taken to the streets if he had tried to invade afghanistan in 1998. Those people who blame bush fo the attack fail to relies that the national security system he inherited was still largely based on the cold war threghts. Those who say that bush's response to the attacks was evil and criminal will notice that Obama has basically continued the same strategy. Gitmo is still open, and you will notice that the seals executed bin laden rather then bring him in for trial (and seals follow orders). So all these people who can't stop ripping the other side, please remember that these guys are doing the toughest job in the world, and you are judging them with hindsight. They have all madE mistakes but for the most part their mistakes were products of their time.

    September 11, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. O.G.

    It's good to see the two presidents come together for this.

    I am glad that President Clinton was not there, though. The towers would still be standing if he had done his job right.

    September 11, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Obama and Bush are good friends...They respect each-other, while idiots here keep bringing up ideology and politics to a moment where Americans should stand together. All derogatory posts about Obama or Bush is just a wast of time...They can hangout and have good time. Just shut up and do something for your country...Serve in the military to help protect your country or ask your kids to do it. Will you? Well...must of you don't fit for service anyway. That is why you spend your time talking shit and thinking that you are making the difference in America

    September 11, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. edvhou812

    Bush: "It isn't as easy as you thought, is it Barry?"
    Obama: "Sigh. They aren't listening to my speeches anymore."
    Bush: "Look at it this way: At least they don't laugh at you the same way that they laughed at me."

    September 11, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Larry L

    Today is not the day to increase the hatred between Americans. When we do that, the terrorists have won...

    September 11, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Consider This

    Delusional Diridi,
    Yep, what a guy Bush is, the guy's guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He almost destroyed our nation and killed thousands of our soldiers in a warrentless war.
    President Obama is the real hero. Working everyday to get our nation out of the mess Bush and his cronies got it into.
    Try living in reality.

    September 11, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. phoenix86

    On the date remembering the tradegy of 9/11, the hate of the left wing is in full bloom. They are truely the sons and daughters of Bin Ladin.

    September 11, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    "Happy to see him there even if he had to stand next to that Muslim commie Obama."

    Boy, are you an idiot.

    Thank you, President and First Lady Obama, for your service to our country.

    September 11, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Let's get rational now

    I have lived through several major events in my life. JFK's assasination, MLK's assasination, RFK's assasination, Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan, Challenger blow up, etc. One has to wonder what each person who died in on 9/11/2001 thinks of our America today. An America so filled with lack of caring for their fellow human being that one of the presidential candidates would throw senior citizens out on the street rather than come up with a plan to replace social security he loathes. An America that seems so willing to throw the poor and downtrodden under the bus while rewarding the high and mighty. An American whose politicians can't don't even respect the President of the United States and say so in person to children of parents they represent. An America that has become bitter, ugly and mean. Bin Laden may be dead but he truly won. He turned us on ourselves. Instead of solving problems we just yell at each other like little children. We dishonor the people who died that day every single time we do that. I can't help but think that 10 years later their selfless acts went in vain given what we have become.

    September 11, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain


    Funny, if you do an Internet search on "Czech newspapers," there is no "Observer" listed.

    I'm guessing this is just another made-up "news story" by the rightwing to blast President Obama ....

    September 11, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Willy Brown

    That day 10 years ago united a nation, we didn’t see each other as democrat or republicans but as Americans united as one. This scared the left wing progressives so they spent the whole Bush presidency bashing the right and blaming this and Katrina on Bush. Now the progressives got what they wanted a divided nation and idiots parroting and posting hate. The liberal friendly media spent the last 9 years trying to erase and rewrite this event but now they have Barry in office so they had to come out and so fake support for this event. Good job liberals you divided the nation again.

    September 11, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. j mann

    George Bush should have stayed away. His response to 9/11 – to use it as a bait and switch to pursue old family enemy Saddam Hussein and sink this country into a useless, expensive war while letting Osama run free, helps to cement his legacy as the Worst president in history.

    September 11, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Shinichi Izumi

    I'm glad that the Bushes and Obama are now together – it should have been the case after Osama died. But NOW it's happening.

    September 11, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. gc

    Obviously the people bashing Obama only have talk and nothing else. Bush PLUNGED America in debt by going after Saddam and then for the next 5 years he and Bin Laden played with their camcorders.

    September 11, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Jack V

    I can't believe all the hateful vile I see on these pages. Nearly 2/3rds comes from the right wing. Will this nation ever go beyond idiotic babble into meaningful thoughts?

    September 11, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. GaryB

    There's a lot of revisionist history on the site today, particularly coming from the right. To all those that claim that Clinton never tried to do anything about Bin Laden, I suggest you check the news archive from the late 90s. Clinton did indeed order an attack on Bin Laden, but as Bush would learn a few years later, trying to kill a single guy in a remote region of Afghanistan is a lot harder than it sounds. And Clinton had even fewer assets on the ground than Bush did. The Clinton administration did try to warn the Bush administration about Bin Laden, but pre-911, the Bush administration gave other perceived threats (particularly Iraq) considerably more attention. This is not an opinion, these are just facts supported even by the Bush administrations own records. During the Clinton administration, a number of planned Al Qaeda attacks were also foiled (most notably the millineum plot). You can choose to give Clinton credit for this or not, but the idea that Bush somehow did a better job of battling terrorism than Clinton (or Obama) is highly debatable.

    September 11, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Observer

    Two presidents:

    The president who went after bin Laden and got him.
    The president who read "The Pet Goat" and wasn't concerned about bin Laden.

    September 11, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. el rob o

    it's nice to see obama was able to refrain from calling bush a failure and calling the tea party people "teabaggers" long enough to actual pretend to be a civil leader. I'm also glad he was able to give up a day of golfing to attend. nice job obama.

    September 11, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Tony in Maine

    I see the hatred continues. For a few moments after the attack, the United States joined the world. Then we reacted the way the uneducated always react slapped on a testosterone patch, dug a moat, built walls and returned to an old comfort zone, open hatred for those not white, middle class Christians.

    The President of the United States, Barack Obama, was elected by a majority of Americans. He does things I don't like – especially when he tries to get the right to act responsibly – but he is POTUS and deserves and gets my respect.

    September 11, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Get Real

    Are you people for real!!!! Playing the blame game on the 10th anniversary of the worst attack on America??? You people should be ashamed. It happened, we should all be working together to prevent it from happening again. Yes sir, the IGNORANT AMERICANS have taken over this country.

    September 11, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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