Laura Bush detailed the exact moment she learned about the 9/11 terrorist attacks during an intimate conversation with her daughter.
For The Huffington Post’s new parent-child interview series Talk To Me, the former first lady answered questions from her daughter, Barbara Bush. During the interview, Laura spoke of having a “huge advantage” when she became first lady because she had learned so much about the position and the White House from her mother-in-law, former first lady Barbara Bush. But nothing could have prepared Laura for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. “In a lot of ways it changed everything for us,” she said.
Laura recalled that she was on Capitol Hill to discuss her education work when an agent informed her that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. She told her daughter she thought it was some sort of “strange accident” until later when she was with Sen. Ted Kennedy and learned of the other planes that had been involved. Laura described Kennedy as a “really interesting person to be with on that morning” given the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy.
She explained how Kennedy kept up his small talk and gave her a tour of his office despite the unfolding crisis. “I always wondered if he thought I would fall apart if he [stopped talking], or if that was just the way he dealt with the shock because he’d had so many shocks,” she said.
The Bushes also discussed the “generational change” that has brought more women to the workplace, and the “biggest and best surprise” of Laura’s life, the birth of her twin daughters Barbara and Jenna. Laura said spending time with family is on her mind more than ever.
“I think that’s what you start to think about, what you really know in the end, that your relationships are what are most important,” she said. “Those friendships, those people you love, the family members that you have — those are the relationships that I think also make a life well lived and make life so meaningful and valuable.”