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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Adam Putnam recounts being with the president in Sarasota on 9/11



The group waiting on the steps of Emma E. Booker Elementary School for President George W. Bush was informed he would not stop to talkap_ny408_sept_11_photo_pack.jpg to them on the way inside. He had to take a call.

Bush stopped anyway. "I'll be right there," he told his chief of staff Andrew Card.

"Mr. President," Card replied, "you really need to take this phone call."

It was the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

"It's hard to believe it's been 10 years," said former U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, now Florida's agriculture commissioner, who was at the school.

As part of the St. Petersburg Times' series on the anniversary of 9/11, Putnam recounts what it was like that day.

Also, Lane DeGregory visited with three of the then-second graders that Bush was reading to when Card interrupted him with the chilling news: "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack." Her is story here.

Photo: AP

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 7:12pm]


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