A STARTLING set of frank pictures in the moments and days after the events of 9/11 in the US have been issued to mark the 17th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on US soil.
In the collection of harrowing images the then President George W Bush is seen being told about events and taking panicked phone calls as the shocking details began to emerge.
Exactly 17 years ago today the United States of America was rocked by the devastating terrorist attacks that killed 2,996 people and left a further 6,000 injured.
Hijackers took over the American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre at 8.46am.
Just over 15 minutes later a second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, was crashed by hijackers into the WTC’s South Tower.
A third plane was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon less than an hour later.
Passengers were able to prevent a fourth plane from being taken over and hitting its intended target with the flight eventually crash-landing in a Pennsylvania field.
Images from the George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum reveal how the Republican leader handled the situation that rocked the world.
The President had been visiting the Emma E Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florid a and was taking part in a reading lesson when he was informed of the attacks by an aide.
He was then rushed into an empty classroom as he was briefed on the unfolding tragedy.
In one telling image he is pictured in close up aboard Air Force One as he flies from Florida to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana with a troubled-looking Bush taking phone calls from his advisers.
Once he had arrived in Louisiana, Bush gave a press conference where he vowed the US would “hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.”
In the extensive collection there are also images of Bush in the following days, including a poignant visit to the site of the World Trade Centre and met with some of the hero firefighters that rescued people from the burning buildings.
He is also seen embracing family members who lost loved ones in the attacks as well as visiting the Islamic Centre in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump is marking the anniversary by visiting the Pennsylvania field that became a 9/11 memorial.
Trump and his wife, Melania, are expected to take part in the remembrance service in Shanksville.
The site marks where the California-bound plane crashed and all the 40 passengers and crew were killed.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “Certainly the focus will be on remembering that horrific day and remembering the lives that were lost, and certainly honoring the individuals who were not only lost that day, but also put their lives of the line to help in that process.”
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Trump observed the solemn anniversary for the first time as president last year.
He and the first lady led a moment of silence at the White House accompanied by aides and administration officials at the exact time that hijackers flew the first of two airplanes into the World Trade Centre’s Twin Towers.
The president also participated in the Pentagon’s September 11 observance last year.
Vice President Mike Pence will represent the administration there on Tuesday.
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