1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The "My Pet Goat" kids

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by dog428, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. dog428

    dog428 Active Member

    I'll just post this with no anti-Bush comments. I don't think pointing anything out is necessary here. There's some info in this that I didn't know and I think it shows just how amazingly unprepared the country was for an attack. What struck me most is the fact the president knew the first plane had hit, but in the 18 minutes between the attacks, despite three planes being hijacked, no one concluded that this was an organized attack until the second plane hit.

    SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Tyler Radkey and other second-graders at Emma E. Booker Elementary School didn't know what to think when an aide leaned in and whispered something to President Bush on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

    "His face just started to turn red," said Tyler, now 13 and in seventh grade. "I thought, personally, he had to go to the bathroom."

    For a puzzling seven minutes, the youngsters read aloud from the story "The Pet Goat" while the shaken president followed along in front of the class, trying to come to grips with what he had been told - that a second plane had just hit the World Trade Center and the nation was under terrorist attack.

    "He looked like he was going to cry," said Natalia Jones-Pinkney, now 12.

    Millions of Americans have a story of where they were on 9/11. But the kids of Booker Elementary are unique. Five years ago, they were part of history, sitting alongside a president in the midst of a monumental crisis.

    "All of us shared an experience," said Michael Alexander, now 15. "No one else can say that."

    Bush chose the school in one of Sarasota's poorest neighborhoods to launch a national reading campaign. He knew a plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Center when he arrived, but the terror plot was still unfolding when he sat down in a classroom to listen to children read what they had been practicing for days.

    Tyler, his hair neatly braided, is in the lower left-hand corner of the now-famous Associated Press photo of Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispering news of the second plane and the words, "America is under attack."

    The president's decision to continue sitting there has been bitterly criticized. Filmmaker Michael Moore used the classroom video to embarrass Bush in the scathing documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."

    "You can't judge a man on seven minutes," said 15-year-old Stevenson Tose'-Rigell, who was then a fifth-grader and was with Bush in the school library later that day. "What he did is what he could do."

    Bush soon left the classroom and, after a briefing from aides, strode into the library where other pupils were awaiting an appearance by Bush and Education Secretary Rod Paige. The children were unaware of what was unfolding as Bush made a brief statement to the nation about the attacks.

    In the news footage, Michael can be seen standing next to the president. He is so stunned he neglects to lower his head for the moment of silence.

    "There I am, right there," said Michael, pointing to a boy on the television screen. "I'm trying to figure out what's happening."

    Suddenly, the morning returned to the script. Paige spoke to the stunned room of the importance of reading.

    "It was so surreal," Sarasota schools spokeswoman Sheila Weiss said. "Everyone in there wanted to get out and find out what was going on, but we couldn't leave."

    After the VIPs left, the Pentagon burned and the twin towers fell. Flight 93 plunged into a Pennsylvania field.

    "I learned a lot," said Byron Mitchell, another fifth-grader who was in the library. "I learned anything can happen at any given moment."

    He added: "That was the biggest day of my life. I wouldn't say I was in the middle of it. But I was part of it."
  2. I think Tyler Radkey was more right than anyone else was that day.
  3. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Nice little slice of a "Where were you..." piece of history. Let's see if we can't keep the thoughts on this thread non-partisan.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's an interesting story. I know I'm a republican, but I'm hardly a Bush apologist...

    How should he have handled it? Should he have screamed "We're going to nuke those towel heads!" and run from the classroom?

    I don't know if he handled it correctly. I just can't imagine being in that situation.
  5. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    That one kid kind of addressed it. What was he supposed to do? Not panic, but maybe not sit there in shock either. Probably a reaction somewhere in between. But if that's the only reason to be mad at Bush, it's not enough of a reason.
  6. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    I'm usually anti-Bush, but the best defense of his actions that day came from General Tommy Franks when asked about it by Terry Gross. Franks said something like, your first reaction in that situation probably won't be your best reaction. In retrospect, Bush probably did the right thing because it didn't raise a panic among the children at the event.

    Bush also did the right thing later that week in promising New York City $20-billion to rebuild. However, he never delivered on that promise, as they got about 55 percent of that amount.
  7. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Exactly. The 9/11 thread shows that everybody was shocked and confused at that time. Bush would be no different. Just because he's the President doesn't mean he'd know the correct way to act at that time.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I always thought the kids he was reading to were all second graders. Based on the ages in this story I guess that wasn't the case.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The first plane hit at about 8:45 a.m. The second about 20 minutes later. A decent president would not have been listening to the kids read at all twenty minutes after the first attack. He would have been made sure the sitation was being handled from the highest levels.

    The idiot actually thought the first plane hitting was an accident. Hand he been reading any of his classified reports, he would have realized in 10 seconds that it was an attack.

    Had there been some direction from the highest levels, it's possible that people would have had a handle on things sooner, ordered all planes, down, etc.

    Though, even in hindsight I doubt they could have stopped any of what happened. But no one knew how many planes might have been hijacked.
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    When the first plane hit it wasn't clear we were under attack. Most reports had it being an accident involving a small plane.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Hijacked jets run into skyscrapers all the time on perfectly clear days.

    My point is the administration had intelligence briefings within the past month that terrorists may try this very thing, so it should have rung some bells.
  12. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    As I said, when the first plane hit the first tower there was no indication it was a hijack. It was initially reported as an accident. But hey, believe whatever the fuck you want.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page