George Walker Bush (known as George
W. Bush to distinguish him from his father, former President George Bush) studied at the Philips Andover Academy in Massachusetts and then at Yale University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1968.
He joined the Texas Air National Guard where he learned to fly fighter jets and reached the rank of Lieutenant. From 1972 to 1975, he attended Harvard Business School, then went into the oil business, forming an oil and gas exploration company, ‘Arbusto’ (a pun, using the Spanish word for bush). In 1977, he married Laura Welch: their twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, were born in 1981.
In July 1986, Bush moved to Washington DC to support George Bush Senior’s successful presidential campaign. After the election he moved to Dallas, Texas, where he became joint owner of Texas Rangers baseball team, making a profit of almost $15 million when he sold the team in 1998.
In 1994, he was elected Governor of Texas, showing considerable diplomatic skills and pushing through business friendly law reforms. In 1998, he won re-election by a big majority, the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms.
In June 1999 George W. Bush won the nomination as the Republican candidate for President. His folksy style proved popular in the campaign but the result was an extraordinarily close and disputed contest. Bush was finally declared victor following five weeks of legal wrangling involving recounts in the key state of Florida.
George W. Bush became the 43rd President of the United States on 20 January 2001.
On 11 September that year, Islamic terrorists flew hijacked passenger jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. In the wake of this event Bush made his famous speech, initiating the ‘war on terror’ that has characterized US foreign policy ever since.
In November 2004, Bush won a second term as President.
Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbours. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.
‘We’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.’
A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targetted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil- the very worst of human nature – and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbours who came to give blood and help in any way they could.
Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington DC to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.
The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbour them.
I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.
‘None of us will ever forget this day.’
Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.’
This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.
Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.
George Walker Bush (known as George