A new collection of never-before-seen photos were released on Friday featuring former president George W. Bush on the morning of September 11, 2001.
The images, which were given to PBS Frontline under the Freedom of Information Act, gives an unique view into how the Bush administration responded to the worst terrorist attack in US history.
Many of the photos were taken by the president’s photographer Eric Draper and showcases Bush’s initial moments following the first attack while touring an elementary school in Florida, to the meetings with his senior staff at the White House.
“Capturing that story was difficult,” Draper told the Storybench. “I had to focus on being in the right place at the right time and push back the emotions that I was feeling to truly capture the story. Everyone did their job that day and I knew my job was to have a crystal clear focus to document what was in front of me, for others to place it into history.”
The collection of photos from the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is now the third to be released in response to FOIA requests from Neirouz Hanna. One batch, released by the National Archives in July 2015, contained more than 350 behind-the-scenes images of 9/11 by Vice President Dick Cheney’s personal photographer. A set of 2,664 images released one month earlier provided a rare glimpse of Cheney’s tenure in office.
All photo captions via Frontline:
Images: Eric Draper Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum/NARA