Bush to address nation on 9/11
President to visit sites of attacks
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush, as part of a daylong tribute on September 11 that will take him to the three sites of last year's terrorist attacks, will honor the approximately 3,000 lives lost in a "respectful and solemn way" and outline the "task that lies ahead as we continue defending freedom," a White House spokesman announced Tuesday.
Bush and first lady Laura Bush will begin the commemoration of the first anniversary of the attacks at a private church service in Washington Wednesday morning, before attending a moment of silence at the White House at 8:46 a.m., the moment the first hijacked plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Shortly after 9 a.m. another jet rammed into the Trade Center's South Tower.
The Bushes will then travel to the Pentagon for an observance, remembering the lives lost when a third hijacked plane crashed into the military building.
The president and the first lady will then make their way to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a wreath-laying ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in the field where United Flight 93 crashed.
It will be the president's first visit to the Pennsylvania site; the first lady traveled there in the days after the attacks.
Before the president's arrival at Shanksville, Tom Ridge, White House homeland security director who was governor of Pennsylvania at the time of the attacks, will lead a White House delegation taking part in a commemoration ceremony at the time of day when Flight 93 crashed.
U.S. officials believe passengers aboard that plane prevented it from flying to Washington, D.C., where the likely target, the officials say, was the White House.
"Those who were here at the White House that day feel strongly about honoring those who gave their lives that day on Flight 93, particularly given the fact that most of us view that as saving the lives of those who were here at the White House," Scott McClellan, White House deputy press secretary, told reporters.
From Pennsylvania, the president and the first lady will travel to New York City and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the site where the World Trade Center once stood, now commonly referred to as Ground Zero.
At 9:01 p.m., Bush will address the nation from New York City, McClellan said.
"On September 11th, the president will honor those whose lives were lost in a respectful and solemn way," McClellan said. "He will also talk about the task that lies ahead as we continue defending freedom and honoring those who gave their lives that day."
Bush will remain in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, which begins September 12.
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