On Friday, September 14, 2001, just three days after the horrific events of 9/11, President Bush made his first visit to Ground Zero in New York City. The day began with a Cabinet meeting then a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC before the president made his way to the beleaguered city. President Bush met up with New York governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who led him on a tour of Ground Zero as Bush met with first responders. It was before a crowd at the site that Bush famously responded to a voice in the crowd:
“… I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”
Afterwards, the President visited with the families of deceased and missing rescue workers, including Arlene Howard, mother of fallen Port Authority Police Officer George Howard, who presented the President with her son’s badge.
The historic day was captured on film and has since been digitized by the National Archives.