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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Recovers: President Bush Visits New York City School

Aired October 3, 2001 - 12:52   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: The president in a classroom. This is at the de Soto School, otherwise known here in New York as PS-130. And that's Debby Nelson's first-grade class. The mayor's there. We see the governor as well and the president.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Put your hand over your heart. Ready?

BUSH & STUDENTS: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

BUSH: Thank you all very, very much.

BROWN: This school is located in Lower Manhattan, not far from the Trade Center.

BUSH: Can I introduce some people here? Mayor Rudy? You know the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani? The governor -- George Pataki of New York? And I'm President George Bush, and I wanted to come by your school to say a couple of things.

First, I want to say to the teachers who work in this school and all throughout New York how much America appreciates the courage that New York teachers showed. There's a lot of talk about heroes in our society. A hero is somebody you look up to, of course. And the teachers of New York City were very heroic. They were not only heroic in taking boys and girls your age out of the buildings and helping them find places to stay the night or making sure nobody got hurt. They're heroic today.

You know why? Because they love you, and if you've got any worries about what took place at the World Trade Center, they want to help you. Some of you...

(CROSSTALK)

Yes, they do want to help you. Sure, they want to comfort you. They want to make sure that you understand what -- what went on. And I want to thank the teachers a lot, and I know that the mayor and the governor join me.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

BROWN: Pool tape that was shot just a little while ago of the president at the de Soto School.

BUSH: They're telling me -- the principal is saying that they're practicing -- they're learning about patriotism, and it looks like -- Steven, for example, "I love America," he writes.

Well, you know what? There are a lot of people who love America today. And one of the things that we're learning out of our sadness is what a great country this is. And the best way to realize this country is to learn how to read and write, and that's what you're doing here; is to study hard. Because this country says, you work hard, you can realize your dreams. And that's what we're here to say to you.

We want to thank you very much for letting us come by. We want to thank your principals and thank your teachers. Tell your moms and dads hello. And it's good to see you.

Anybody got any questions to me or the mayor? You've already asked your questions.

(LAUGHTER)

I've never seen anybody try to ask so many questions in one day in my life.

(LAUGHTER)

Well, anyway, thank you very much.

Did you plant any questions?

(LAUGHTER)

Thanks for letting us come by. A lot of people care for you. They really do, starting with your moms and your dads and your teachers here. A lot of people love you, too. Thanks for letting us come by to say hello. Bye-bye. Thanks. Nice to meet you.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: That's a face.

DEBBY NELSON, TEACHER: ... about why we love America. And this is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that the children wrote, and we would just love it if you could add why you love America. And I'll...

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: The teacher's name is Debby Nelson, the woman on the right talking with the president, and I'm trying to read over his shoulder here. "I love America because I love freedom," I think.

STUDENTS: I love America, because I love freedom.

TEACHER: We talked about that. It's great.

Thank you very much.

BUSH: OK. Thank you all.

(CROSSTALK)

Bye-bye. Good to see you.

(CROSSTALK)

This lady said, "I love America, because it had (sic) freedom." You and I were thinking the same way, weren't we?

STUDENT: (OFF-MIKE)

BUSH: Oh, well, thank you so much (UNINTELLIGIBLE) coming over to the school.

You write very well.

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: So do you. And this is a beautiful picture.

All right. Let's go to another class.

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: I'd love to. Sure. Line them up over here.

NELSON: 204, signal's up. Can we all come up quietly to take a picture with the president and with the mayor, OK, and with the governor? OK. So let's quietly come up.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: They're so -- they're so young. Don't know if they'll remember this years from now, but I guarantee you the teacher will, and it looks like they'll have a picture to remember it by as well.

Look at all the different nationalities. A very New York look there, isn't it?

Adorable all.

Four weeks ago, if the president was at a school, it would be to push his education package. Here today in New York he's just there to say everything is all right and everything is going to be all right.

BUSH: All right, on three, we'll give them all a wave. Ready? One, two, three, give everybody a wave.

TEACHER: Wave, guys. Wave.

BUSH: Everybody wave.

OK. Thank you all very much. We will get you copies of that.

CHILDREN: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: The president at the de Soto School in lower Manhattan visiting first-graders. That's a quite nice seen, wasn't it?

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