Video: 9/11 families speak out

updated 3/6/2004 5:12:16 PM ET 2004-03-06T22:12:16

More than a dozen families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 attacks released a letter Saturday declaring their support for President Bush and his use of images of the destroyed World Trade Center in campaign ads.

“There is no better testament to the leadership of President Bush than Sept. 11,” the letter states. “In choosing our next leader we must not forget that day if we are to have a meaningful conversation.”

The “Open Letter to America,” signed by 22 people who lost loved ones in the trade center, comes as other victims’ families asked that the ads be pulled from the airwaves. The spots also show firefighters carrying a flag-draped stretcher.

“In the November election we will have a clear choice laid before the American people,” the letter reads. “President Bush is rightly offering us that choice and the images of Sept. 11, although painful, are fundamental to that choice. The images in President Bush’s campaign television ads are respectful of the memories of Sept. 11.”

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Bush: Issue is ‘worthy of discussion’
When asked about the ads on Saturday, President Bush said he will “continue to speak about the effects of 9-11 on our country and my presidency.”

“How this administration handled that day, as well as the war on terror, is worthy of discussion. And I look forward to discussing that with the American people,” he said.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told Fox News Channel on Saturday that he personally believed that the ads were inappropriate.

Jimmy Boyle, former president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said he came up with the “Open Letter to America” after hearing that the president was being criticized for the ads.

“I don’t think he’s taking advantage of Sept. 11 and I feel that he’s given us the leadership that we need,” said Boyle, who said he will be voting for a Republican president for the first time in November.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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