Among Schoolchildren

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Regarding Brian DeBose's "Kerry pans president for staying with tots on 9/11," (Page 1, Friday): I remember where I was on September 11; does Sen. John Kerry remember where he was? Mr. Kerry said on Thursday, "Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whispered in my ear, 'America is under attack,' I would have told those kids very politely and nicely that the president of the United States had something that he needed to attend to, and I would have attended to it."

What was Mr. Kerry doing to protect America while he was being evacuated from the Capitol? He wants us to believe that, had he been president, he would have run into the nearest phone booth and changed into his superhero outfit and saved the day.

But, the truth is that no one, other than the people on those planes, could have done anything. In a little more than one hour, the damage was done.

Yes, President Bush was reading to schoolchildren when he was told that "a second hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center." Instead of frightening those children and scrambling out of the school, he elected to remain calm and continued reading for about five minutes. During those minutes, the president's staff made arrangements to secure the chain of command and prepare for the president's departure. Mr. Bush calmly said thank you and goodbye to the young children and then went to the other classroom to do what needed to be done. …