Bush plans prime time address on Sept. 11

Friday, September 8th 2006, 8:47 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush will make a prime-time address from the Oval Office on Monday to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the administration had requested network time for the address at 9:01 p.m. EDT. The address is expected to run 16 to 18 minutes, he said.

The speech will come after Bush visits each of the attack sites, in New York, Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon, where terrorist hijackers used commercial airliners as weapons to kill nearly 3,000 people.

Snow said Bush's address would not be a political speech or a charge to Congress for action. Rather, he said, it would be reflective of what Sept. 11 has meant and ``how we move ahead as a country in making use of the lessons of Sept. 11.''

``It will have a note of optimism as well as sobriety about what we've been through,'' Snow said.

Also, it was revealed that the Pentagon on Saturday will allow the public to tour a multi-faith chapel and other memorial sites at the spot where a hijacked airline slammed into the building on that fateful day.

A Pentagon tour guide will accompany groups to visit the small chapel and an adjacent memorial room where the names of all 184 victims are etched on a plaque and a booklet contains a photo and description of each.

Also in the room is the flag that was draped over the casket used in a group burial honoring the 184 victims at Arlington National Cemetery the day after the attack, which destroyed a large section of the Pentagon's southwest side.

The first time the public was allowed to view these rooms was last Sept. 11.

Members of the public also can see a memorial marble stone, taken from the rubble of 9-11, that was embedded in the rebuilt section of the Pentagon at the spot where hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 hit the building.

The tour will include a look at the construction site for a two-acre memorial park near the impact site. The memorial, scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2008, will feature benches set over small reflecting pools commemorating each of the 184 victims. Several species of maple trees, including one known as the paperback maple, will dot the site.