Updated: Jan 21
It's September 11, 2001. You just found out that 2 planes have hit the world trade center in New York City. People are dead and others are still dying. There are people trapped inside the buildings while others are deciding to jump out as they see no other alternative. In addition, while you are currently processing this event mentally, you have a class of school children sitting in front of you. You can't make a scene or you may scare them. You are now in charge of this situation. How would you react? What would you do to try to resolve this crisis? It's a tough situation that most people would not wish to be in. However, our 43rd President George W. Bush had to experience this crisis first hand. 9/11 is one of the most horrible acts of violence ever committed. President Bush was given the task to handle this terroristic attack and a lesson can be learned from his handling of this event.
You may not be a fan President Bush. You might even hate him. However, one thing you cannot do is deny him the respect he deserves for how he dealt with 9/11. If you are not a fan of President Bush then try to keep an open mind. You will find a man who did the best he could with the information he had available to make the best decision possible for his American citizens.
First, let's discuss how this event was something like no other before. There had been other attacks on American soil, but nothing like the one committed on 9/11. Some will say that this event could have been prevented. This may be true, but the fact is that it wasn't prevented. It came unexpectedly. There was no playbook to go by. There was no chapter in the crisis management book that explained how to deal with terrorists crashing planes into different buildings in our country. With that being said, President Bush had to act accordingly and with his instincts. When you are dealing with something so new, you have to trust your instincts while also trying to decide in a rational manner. President Bush knew that he had to also get with his administration and work together to make the most beneficial decisions for the American people.
After being briefed with intel, President Bush learned that the mastermind responsible for these attacks was the terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden. Al Qaeda orchestrated these attacks with time and planning behind them. This was no accident. It was a declaration of war. President Bush addressed the nation on public TV to notify them of this attack and vowed to hold to account those who were responsible.
President Bush eventually made his way to Ground Zero where the crumbled remains of the World Trade Center laid sadly. He started his speech that would go down in history. As he went on during his speech a member of the crowd yelled: "We can't hear you!" President Bush responded with: "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."
The war of Global Terror was soon declared. President Bush vowed to make those responsible for 9/11 pay for their terrible actions. America was now at war. President Bush became a war time President. Having this responsibility was no easy task. This is where the lesson sits. Life will throw at you difficult times. You will have unexpected events occur that cause chaos and disrupt your world. However, it is important to realize that no matter what happens, you can overcome anything. You will need to have faith in yourself and trust your instincts. This too shall pass. It does not matter how bad things may seem. This too shall pass. We learned this and saw it first hand as President Bush handled 9/11.
Today, we are safer and wise because of what we went through. Departments like the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration were created to help keep us safe. Thankfully, we have not had another terrorist attack like the one on 9/11. Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization responsible for these attacks, is still at large but they have been pursued constantly by the U.S. military. Osama bin Laden was killed and as long as Al Qaeda remains at large, they will continue to be pursued. History will determine how we view President Bush's handling of 9/11, but at least we can gain this lesson in leadership.
To all of those impacted by 9/11, our hearts and prayers go out to you. Those who lost their lives will always be cherished and remembered.