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VOA Interview: Former First Lady Laura Bush Reflects on 9/11

Former First Lady Laura Bush speaking with VOA's Shaista Sadat

Laura Bush recalls feeling of “horror” when she learned about the 9/11 terror attacks.

In an exclusive interview with VOA’s Afghan Service, former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush recalls the feeling of “horror” when she learned about the 9/11 terror attacks.

The former first lady says she was first told of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Towers as she was getting into a car taking her from the White House to the U.S. Capitol. She then watched the attacks unfold on television like millions of others around the world.

“It was the tragedy of it that really went through my mind,” Mrs. Bush said. “The idea of the people who had gone to work on a beautiful day. It was a magnificent, beautiful clear day, with a beautiful, blue sky. There was something so incongruous about the beautiful day, and then the horrible tragedy that was occurring.”

The former first lady said the thought that went through her mind was, “the horror of it for each one of those families as they slowly learned and knew that their husbands, or their wives or their children, or their mothers or fathers, were in those buildings [The World Trade Center] or in the Pentagon.”

The Bush interview, conducted by VOA’s Shaista Sadat at the Bush home in Texas, is part of VOA’s extensive coverage of the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The coverage includes interviews with key newsmakers, reports from around the world, and special web features examining the aftermath of the attacks (see: whatsyour9/11 and others at

VOA language services will provide live radio and television coverage from the memorial services in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11th. The coverage will be streamed on the web, distributed by satellite and on mobile platforms and shared with affiliate stations around the globe.

In addition to her recollections of 9/11, Mrs. Bush also discussed her continued interest in education and the role of women in Afghanistan.

Visit for more information about VOA’s 9/11 coverage.