FW: Pool Report #1

From: George Condon [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 9:05 AM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP
Subject: Pool Report #1

Pool Report #1

Sept. 11, 2015

At 8:46 a.m., precisely 14 years after American Airlines Flight 11 smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center with enough sound and fury to be heard around the world, there was silence on the South Lawn of the White House. Fourteen years after the 43rd president was with school children in a Florida classroom, only four minutes away from learning his presidency was forever changed, the 44th president stood, head bowed, along with his wife and senior staffers.

Gathered on the South Lawn were about 200 staffers, including Denis McDonough, Susan Rice, Josh Earnest, Valerie Jarrett, Cecilia Munoz, John Holdren, and Mike Froman. They stretched about 75 feet out from the diplomatic entrance, leaving an aisle for the president and first lady to walk. Above, the flag atop the White House fluttered at half staff. The weather was not unlike that of 14 years ago, warm with not a cloud in the sky. Two Marines opened the door to allow a seven-person color guard to come out. They stayed close to the White House. Separately, a Marine flag bearer and a Marine bugler walked to the front, closer to where the president would be. Planes were taking off from nearby Reagan Airport throughout.

When the president and first lady emerged, they walked silently and somberly along the aisle, halting just short of the bugler off to their right. Four bells tolled. Heads bowed, the president and first lady looked down for the moment of silence, the silence pierced only by plane noises and the sounds of camera drives clicking. They then looked up and placed their hands over their hearts as Taps was played. At the conclusion of Taps, they turned smartly and walked back to the White House, holding hands for the last 20 feet or so.

George Condon, National Journal

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