On an unpretentious day in September nearly a decade ago America was attacked without warning in heinous fashion. Within an instant, the entire world changed forever.
Nobody will ever forget and nothing will ever be quite the same again. Whether you were on Wall Street looking up with trepidation as the planes roared alarmingly low over Manhattan Island or on a remote mountain village in a distant foreign country, your life was invariably altered. As the fateful and tragic events of the day unfolded a course was charted that came to dictate life in the 21st century throughout the world.
America responded with great zeal and resolve. Communities everywhere came together. Relationships formed and bonds were created as individuals gained a greater appreciation for the freedoms that few others in the world enjoy. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness became more than just inconsequential buzzwords adorning an old piece of dusty parchment. As a country, America resolved to fight the threats that it faced and vowed to bring justice to the mastermind behind these monstrous events.
"George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview" gives the public inside access into the president's arduous journey as he navigated the uncertainties and dangers he personally faced in his own life while trying to simultaneously orchestrate the recovery process for a grieving nation. He is humanized as the audience witnesses the genuine expression of concern he exhibits for his wife and other friends and family throughout the country as the events unfolded.
In preparation for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the National Geographic Channel spent two days interviewing President George W. Bush. The result is a in-depth historical account comprising the most comprehensive recounting of his experiences that has ever been made available to the general public. Included is a retrospective with his reaction to the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of special operation forces, bringing the quest for justice he inaugurated full circle.
The National Geographic Channel meticulously presents a chronological observation of the events of the day as seen through the president's eyes. This is done through the use of video, audio, pictures, and the president's first-hand recollections. Everything from coverage of his morning jog as the sun rose to videos taken on Air Force One that infamous day are tastefully presented.
"George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview" provides new insights and an account of the events that few will find repetitive. The natural reaction might be to presume that the events have been so meticulously covered over the years that little could be presented that wasn't already common knowledge. The viewer will be surprised, however, to find the opposite to be true.
The most fascinating element of the presentation is never-before-released archival footage and photographs from that day. Those already intricately familiar with the shocking news footage will find this an interesting supplement that presents the day from a different visual angle never before seen.
One of the many unique perspectives presented is done through the playback of cockpit voice recordings from Air Force One. These recordings show the split decisions that were being made in real-time to protect the president in what he self-describes as a "fog of war" that was present throughout the day. Nobody was certain that the attack was over and false alarms were repeatedly being sounded. One of the overwhelming fears was that Air Force One itself was a target, adding greater value to the responses of the pilots.
Apart from the new audio and video footage, viewers receive an intimate view into the decisions facing a man upon whose shoulders the fate of the entire world was temporarily resting. He explains the process by which he was thrust into being a wartime president; a role he had neither campaigned for nor predicted. Nothing could have adequately prepared him. This becomes clear as he describes the process by which he made decisions and the immense stress that came with giving orders, including the famous order to shoot down any non-responsive passenger jets.
Parents should be cautious before allowing younger children to view this presentation. While respectfully presented, the accounting is successful in its attempts to be historically accurate and depict the tragedy of the day. As a result, some viewers may find the graphic images to be disturbing given the realism involved. Also, there is mild swearing.
The premiere of "George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview" airs Sunday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.
Joseph Irvine is a graduate of Utah State University and is currently contracting for ClearPlay. He was 13 years old on Sept. 11, 2001, and in the seventh grade.