Nightly News | May 05, 2011
>>> finally here tonight, think about the weekend president obama had. after he had given the order to kill bin laden , halfway across the planet, he went on to tour the tornado damage in alabama. he gave a commencement speech, and he followed the presidential tradition of joking around at the big media dinner saturday night in washington. because he knew he had to keep up appearances, the presidency had to go on. that was president bush 's thinking when he chose to stay at that classroom reading event in florida the morning of 9/11. and we now know for those kids, all grown up, the bin laden news this week carries special meaning . our report from nbc's carey sanders.
>> reporter: on that horrible day almost ten years ago, president george bush sat in a sarasota, florida , class room . as he and the children read a book about a pet goat , the chief of staff interrupted.
>> as soon as i saw the assistant whisper in his ear, his expression changed dramatically.
>> seating in the second row, this student remembers the moment with a clarity unusual for a second grader, but then, this was a momentint history, one he says that shaped his childhood.
>> it gave me a new perspective. i want to be a leader. i want to travel the world, see the different perspectives of the world, the different cultures.
>> and you think you can trace back to that day sitting there with the president 1234 .
>> also inclase that day, 7-year-old mariah williams. she's now 16.
>> i remember how it was a happy moment to a serious moment.
>> reporter: many american teenagers don't remember the attack. they view it as an assignment in their history books, but for the 16 kids in class that day, they say being with the president handed them a lifetime responsibility, to make sure the memories of that moment are preserves. today, this is a media room , and among the books here, the yearbook with pictures the instant our nation learned so much about evil and our vulnerabilities. and it's the lesson 16-year-old chantelle guerrero said today she hopes we have all learned.
>> no matter what life throws at you, you can come out in the end.
>> a lesson that can shape these people and the nation. nbc news, sarasota, florida .