This is in response to Richard Wilson’s April 17 letter to the editor (“Obama’s response slow”). Mr. Wilson obviously is not a fan of our president, and I get it that many in the CSRA don’t like Obama for any number of reasons. After all, this is a predominately conservative Republican area.
However, history is not served well in his point about the difference in time it took George W. Bush to respond to 9/11 and the time it took President Obama to respond to the Boston Marathon bombing.
Wilson says that it took minutes for Bush to respond to the attacks on 9/11. He is partly right. It took Bush only nine minutes to end his reading of The Pet Goat after he knew that both of the Twin Towers were hit by planes
From 9:05 to 9:14 a.m., Bush got on Air Force One and flew around awhile until he landed in Bossier City, La., at 10:35 a.m. It was not until 1:04 p.m., nearly four hours after being notified of the 9/11 attacks – not just minutes – that Bush aired any public remarks to the nation. Bush did formally address the nation at 8:30 p.m. after he finally arrived back in D.C., having flown to Bellevue, Neb., first. He used a teleprompter for his four-minute, 24-second address.
The Boston Marathon bombing began at 2:50 p.m. I don’t know when the president was informed of this, but Obama addressed the nation at 6:10 p.m., three hours and 20 minutes later. By my math, that is 39 minutes sooner than Bush.
My guess is that Richard Wilson, like many in the CSRA, gets his information from Fox News or some other unreliable source. His recollection of the 9/11 timeline is incorrect and only suits his desire to publicly denigrate our current president.
What his letter fails to convey is the enormous responsibility any president has to become aware of the facts – as they can be known so soon after a catastrophic event as these two are – and convey a sense that our nation will be all right; that we care deeply about the injured, killed and their families; that all efforts are being made to find the person or people responsible; and that we are, in this moment together, one nation under God.
Perhaps it is best if we forget about pointing fingers at one another for blame and start putting our arms around one another for support.
The Rev. Prescott E. Nead III