"The decision to go to war is one that defines a nation, both to the world
and perhaps more importantly to itself." Bob Woodward
(This is truer today than perhaps ever before.)
"President Bush was reading to second graders at Emma E. Booker elementary school
in Sarasota, Florida, when his aide brought him news that a plane had hit the
North Tower of the World Trade Center. At first, it seemed it might be a accident,
pilot error or maybe, Bush thought, the pilot had had a heart attack.
He was sitting on a stool in the classroom in a dark suit, blue shirt and bright
red tie. A small blackboard behind him said, "Reading makes a country great!"
Bush's Chief of Staff soon interrupted the president and whispered directly into his
right ear, "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack."
A photo of that moment is etched for history. The president's hands are folded formally
in his lap, his head turned to hear the words. His face has a distant sober look,
almost frozen, edging on bewilderment. Bush remembers exactly what he was thinking:
"They had declared war on us, and I made up my mind at that moment that we were going
to war."Where do I find;
In this heart of mine;
A reason for war.
Where lies the switch;
In the life of which;
We let the missiles soar.
How do I explain;
Its not a children's game.
Its a subject of such horror.
To a child;
So without guile;
Wanting to know more.
Fortunately, most of us will never have to make such a decision. How do we determine the
enemy, one who's borders don't exist, who is present in large numbers in 60 countries.
An enemy who has now killed THOUSANDS of Americans, and wants to kill more.You cannot choose your battlefield,
God does that for you;
But you can plant a standard
Where a standard never flew.
Taking questions from reporters...
"Mr. President," one asked, "could you give us a sense as to what kind of prayers you are thinking and where your heart is, for yourself, as you....
"Well I don't think about myself right now," Bush said, and it was instantly obvious that he was struggling with his emotions. "I think about the families, the children." He turned his head and his eyes were filled with tears.
"I am a loving guy," he said, as he started to regain his composure, but only partially, "and I am also someone, however, who has got a job to do and I intend to do it. And this is a terrible moment. But this country will not relent until we have saved ourselves and others from the terrible tragedy that came upon America."
Still with tears in his eyes, Bush ended the session with a slight nod of his head, and the pool reporters were escorted out."