Like many American families, Laura says she and her loved ones were anxious after September 11. "We would just be watching pro football on television and there would be a huge stadium full. It would cross your mind, 'Oh, I hope there isn't something there,' and that went on for a long time," she says. "It went on for us probably longer than even it did for other people just because George was still reading the threat reports every day and we were so aware, and he was so determined to not have another terrorist attack on our country."

Laura says she brought in a minister and Colin Powell's wife, Alma, to help relieve any anxiety felt by White House staffers, some of whom were told to run for their lives on September 11."I would say it subsided in that we weren't afraid every single day," she says. "As George said, he thinks the president prays instead of, 'Let's make this happen,' [it's] 'God, please don't let anything happen today.'"

Laura says she and the president wanted people to resume their normal lives and even allowed their daughters to fly commercially to Washington the weekend after the attacks. "We knew that the planes were fine, and George didn't want to take this huge hit to the economy. It was bad enough having the terrorist attack," she says. "He wanted people to go about their own lives. And I knew from just a mental health point of view ... that it's really important to get to a routine."


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