18 years later: President George W. Bush was sitting in Sarasota classroom when events of 9/11 unfolded

Booker Elementary and 9/11

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Many of us know where we were on 9/11, when the planes struck the Twin Towers. What some people don’t know is that President George W. Bush was sitting in a classroom at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota when he learned about the attacks.

It’s a point in time that ABC7′s Linda Carson, who was part of the media covering the classroom event, will never forget. “Just looking back on it, it just brings tears to my eyes,” said Carson.

She knew there was a problem when President Bush walked into the school’s media center right after the phone call. “People were lined up behind him, people started applauding and cheering. And they saw the look on his face and they stopped. It just went dead silent because they can just see on his face that something had happened,” explained Carson.

Something did happen that scarred the world and terrified Emma E. Booker teacher Clesha Allen after hearing that there was a bomb threat at the school. “All over parents are pulling out their kids. Because they had heard that there was going to be a bomb threat at our school. And when you have a child ask you about their mortality and ask am I going to die today? Nothing prepared me for that.”

But crediting the president’s leadership as being part of the reason why she was able to keep her students calm. "When I had to tell my students that we were OK, I thank him for everything that he did correctly. I thank him for everything he did to make us feel secure as a nation.

And for a new generation of students who know this day as Patriots Day, Allen has an art piece to commemorate those who have fallen. “On my tiles I decorated the Twin Towers and I said we are better not bitter,” said Allen.

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