Rescue Worker: God bless America!
President Bush: -- to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for makin' the nation proud, and may God bless America.
Rescue Workers: [Chanting] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
It is what the nation needed to hear from President Bush . . . who did so from the heart with sincere emotion and without a political agenda. It was about righting a terrible wrong done to the USA on its own soil, tragically taking the lives of so many innocent.
Today, it is an entirely different attitude towards President Bush for many . . . and that includes discounting the partisan ones. (It is even worse than before September 11, 2001 with the memories of the 2000 election still fresh in the memories of those who didn't vote for George Bush.)
Yes, opinions can change due to a variety of personal and/or partisan political reasons such as learning that the decision to liberate Iraq was based on faulty intelligence. The change can even be so profound that one's perception can be clouded on everything involving a particular individual . . . including significant achievements that are under reported or just not news grabbing like what went wrong on a particular day no matter if it was minor with no lasting impact . . . other than the impression it leaves or reinforces.
Hindsight also comes into play when things aren't going right . . . and became increasing so for many Americans as the progress with the Iraq War was not going as planned. It brings about second guessing even when decisions were made based on what was known at the time . . . not what was known months or years afterwards.
And while decisions based on faulty facts have their consequences for all involved, it should never change one's opinion of the character of those who made the decision in good faith.
Yet, I have never faulted President Bush for his decisions based upon what he knew at the time . . . Yes, I too wished he had known all the facts beforehand.
Moreover, I remain convinced that President Bush has never waivered in his resolve to protect our beloved country and fellow citizens. I see it in his eyes and expressions, hear it in his voice, and witness it in his interaction with others . . . and none more so than when he is with the troops or speaking about them.
You can see for yourself by watching the Medal of Honor presentations by President Bush to the families of the fallen heroes and his interview reflecting on being the Commander in Chief and thoughts about the troops. That is President Bush!
And as a father of a son who served with the Marines in Iraq during 2003, I have the lasting memory of the emotion felt everyday my son was in harm's way. (Read Very Proud and Worried - A Father's Thoughts)
I also have a sense of the emotions that President Bush deals with knowing that he has sent so many brave young ones into harm's way. Then there is how he must feel for and about the brave, proud, honorable ones who returned home draped with Old Glory or with a crippling wound. He was their Commander in Chief.
Nor would I have blamed President Bush, if my Marine son's narrow escape from a killing bullet whispering by an ear had found it instead. (Read Brave Young) My son and his fellow troops volunteered to serve in the military . . . and deserve our sincere heartfelt appreciation and respect . . . for putting country first above self, which is how President Bush obviously feels towards them.
So, why would even President Bush's critics not be willing to accept putting country first has been his overriding principle as America's leader . . . when it has always been as Commander in Chief?
Therefore, decisions that are viewed as mistakes or just unpopular were not based on what was best for him, but for country's sake . . . no matter the political consequences. The same goes for the good / popular decisions. (Read Dear Mr. President)
Sadly, I doubt that partisan types and unfriendly media will ever admit it publicly, but historians will hopefully do so one day soon.