As Americans commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, resulting in a long war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan makes this day hold significance. 

Commercial airliners hijacked by Al Qaeda crashed the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Then US President George W. Bush had been in Sarasota for the purpose of interacting with a class of students at Emma E Booker Elementary School.

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A duty manager at the airline’s reservation office in North Carolina was called via a airphone and told about the hijacking of the flight. 

“Something is wrong. We are in a rapid descent,” another flight attendant told the airline’s office in Boston. Soon after, the flight crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Then White House chief of staff Andrew Card recalled believing it to be a small private plane. He was with Bush in Sarasota. 

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“Sir, it appears a small twin-engine prop plane crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center,” Card recounted a navy captain telling the president. When the Navy captain informed Card about the second plane crash, Card went to the President and whispered, “A second plane hit the second tower, America is under attack.”

The president rushed with his motorcade soon after. 

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport suggested to the US Secret Service that an unknown aircraft was heading in direction of the White House. The plans, however, took a 330-degree turn for downtown Washington and crashed into the Pentagon. 

George W Bush, on Saturday, said that disunity today made him “worried” about the future of the United States.

“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people,” Bush said in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the fourth hijacked plane came down.

“When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own,” he continued.

“So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear, and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together.”