George W. Bush Details 9/11 Memories For Documentary

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NEW YORK (CBS Local/AP) – Former President George W. Bush says Sept. 11 will be marked on calendars like Pearl Harbor Day — a day never forgotten by the people who lived through it.

Bush offers recollections of the 2001 terrorist attacks in an extensive interview that serves as the centerpiece for a National Geographic Channel documentary. “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview” will debut on Aug. 28, 2011.

Bush talks about learning of the attack when the news was whispered in his ear during a visit to a Florida school, and weighing how he would respond. Along with his responsibilities as president, he had some of the same worries as many other Americans that day.

“One of my concerns, like the concerns of other husbands and wives, was, ‘Was my spouse OK? Was Laura OK? And my second concern was, ‘Were our girls OK?'”

He described his visit to “ground zero” after the attack. It looked like a giant scar from the air, but when he got to the site, “it was like walking into hell,” he said.

Years from now, will the words “ground zero” still be used to describe the World Trade Center site?

According to CBSNewYork.com reports, some say it’s time to move past using those words, because the site is no longer a disaster zone.

“I lost half of my left foot, and I’m not going to say I lost half of my left at the new WTC. I lost half of my left foot at ground zero,” 9/11 responder John Feal said.

Bush’s two-day interview by the National Geographic crew started the day after President Barack Obama announced the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Bush says the news made him “grateful.”

“I didn’t feel any great sense of happiness or jubilation,” said Bush. “I felt a sense of closure. And I felt a sense of gratitude that justice had been done.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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