- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 3, 2002

President Bush next month will mark the one-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks by visiting "ground zero" in New York City, the repaired Pentagon and the rural Pennsylvania site where Flight 93 crashed as passengers fought with hijackers.

"On September 11th, America was attacked and the president will be going to the three locations that were hit to continue to rally our nation and to mourn and to pay respects to the memory of those who lost their lives and to their families," White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said yesterday.

The president's visit to New York where 2,823 persons from more than 80 nations died in the collapse of the two World Trade Center buildings will come five days after Congress holds a ceremonial session there.

Lawmakers meeting outside Washington for just the second time since 1800 are expected to convene in Federal Hall, which stands on the spot where the first Congress met in 1789. After their session, they will attend a ceremony at the World Trade Center site.

The White House press office, traveling with Mr. Bush for a weekend vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine, yesterday released no details about the president's visit to the three sites.

New York's plans for commemorating the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil have not yet been announced. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has received nearly 5,000 ideas for a tribute, including suggestions to light 3,000 candles or ring the bells from all halls and churches between 8:45 a.m., the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center, and 10:29 a.m., when the second tower fell.

The mayor is expected to announce the city's plans in the next few weeks.

Mr. Bush will also visit a field near Shanksville, Pa., in Somerset County, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The field is where United Flight 93 which federal investigators have determined was intending to crash into the White House went down after passengers struggled with the hijackers for control of the plane. Forty-four persons died in the crash.

The president often mentions the fate of the passengers in his speeches, citing the bravery and sacrifice of those who rose up against the hijackers, including Todd Beamer, who, after talking to his wife on a cell phone, said to others on the flight: "Let's roll."

Relatives of some of the victims have complained that Mr. Bush has not visited the Pennsylvania crash site. The president will be just an hour away from the site on Monday, when he meets in Pittsburgh with the Somerset County coal miners who were rescued last week after three days in a flooded mine.

Mr. Bush yesterday began what amounts to a 32-day hiatus from the inside-the-Beltway world of Washington. Although he will return to the White House on Monday long enough to have his annual health checkup and sign the trade-promotion-authority bill passed by Congress, he will leave Tuesday for his 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel ranch in Crawford, Texas.

During his Crawford stay, Mr. Bush will travel to 15 cities throughout August to speak about education, the economy and trade, Miss Buchan said.

"The week of August 12, the president will host an economic forum, where he will bring together government policy-makers, small investors, industry experts, business ethicists, union members, corporate leaders, business students and others to discuss the economy and talk about the president's agenda for increasing growth," Miss Buchan said.

Before leaving for a weekend fishing-and-golfing stay at his parents' Maine home, Mr. Bush lauded the last-minute accomplishments of Congress, which included a bill to provide more money for the military, the trade-promotion-authority bill and a corporate-responsibility bill to hold business executives accountable.

"It goes to show what is possible when people in this town set aside politics and focus on doing what's right for the American people," the president said on the South Lawn before boarding Marine One helicopter.

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