Talking to ABC’s Diane Sawyer during a special tour of the newly opened George W. Bush Library, former First Lady Laura Bush says she and her husband have both been brought to tears by the new 9/11 exhibit at the museum.
“It’s very hard to walk through and it's hard to watch this,” the former first lady says, referring to a video in the exhibit that reviews the day-by-day response to the attack. “People weep, I mean, there's that spot where George almost wept, in the Oval Office, when he was talking about it.”
The new museum, which is designed to progress chronologically through the Bush presidency, starts off in a well-lit room that lays out the agenda President Bush hoped to undertake when he first came into office at the beginning of 2001. But visitors soon turn a corner, moving into the shadows of the 9/11 exhibit, where a large piece of disfigured metal from the 82nd or 83rd of the second World Trade Center tower stands.
“This is the point of impact,” Mrs. Bush tells Sawyer, pointing to the memorial. “And on the walls around here are the names of all the people who died on September 11th. And this is really, this big piece of the World Trade Center looks like a big sculpture, I think, but it's a memorial.”
As hard as it is for the former first lady to look back on those days, she says it also reminds her of the best qualities of the country.
“There’s something sort of encouraging about it, because of the way our country came together and the way we can come together,” Mrs. Bush says. “And we forget that now in so much partisan rancor, and I think it's too bad, because I think our responsibility as citizens really is to come together.”
To join Diane and Mrs. Bush on their special tour of the museum, check out this episode of Top Line.