September 14, 2001, around 4:40 p.m.: President Bush arrived at ground zero and delivered an impromptu speech to rescue workers, using a bullhorn [B2] found on-site by an advance-team staffer. Following his public-relations mishaps in the immediate aftermath of the attacks [B3], compounded in the eyes of some New Yorkers by the three days it took him to visit, the move served as a galvanizing event for the nation and would become a signature moment of his presidency. “I can hear you,” he told the cheering crowd. “And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Afterward, Bush passed the bullhorn to Governor George Pataki, who gave it to his security team, who then tried and failed to give it to a member of the Secret Service. Later, it would be returned to Bush in an Oval Office ceremony attended by Pataki and Bob Beckwith, the now-retired firefighter who had become a symbol of the rescue workers when the president put his arm around him during the speech. In 2010, the bullhorn was transferred from the care of the National Archives to Texas, where it awaits the 2013 dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
B3: The Pet GoatA girl got a pet goat. She liked to go running with her pet goat. She played with her goat in her house. She played with the goat in her yard.
But the goat did some things that made the girl’s dad mad. The goat ate things. He ate cans and he ate canes. He ate pans and he ate panes. He even ate capes and caps …
…One day a car robber came to the girl’s house. He saw a big red car near the house and said, “I will steal that car.”
He ran to the car and started to open the door.
The girl and the goat were playing in the back yard. They did not see the car robber.
From The Pet Goat, by Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner, which Bush continued to read with a class of schoolchildren in Florida for about five minutes after having been told that a second jet had hit the Towers.