Bob Beckwith was working in the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center when George W. Bush visited the site.
A retired New York City firefighter who rose to fame after being photographed alongside then-President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has died at age 91 years.
Bob Beckwith was working in the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center three days after the attacks when Bush visited the site and gave a speech promising to hold the perpetrators accountable.
“I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you, and the people who tore down these buildings will soon hear all of us,” Bush said in his remarks to rescuers searching for survivors.
Images of Bush speaking into a megaphone with his arm around Beckwith became among the best-known images symbolizing the grief and determination of Americans in the days after planes were crashed into the Twin Towers by hijackers. the air.
“Bob Beckwith was one of many retired FDNY [Fire Department of New York] “The members who responded to the World Trade Center site in the days and months following 9/11 to assist in the rescue and recovery are a testament to their dedication to their FDNY family,” the Fire Commissioner said Monday Laura Kavanagh in a press release.
“His iconic photo with President Bush captured a moment that was both inspiring and heartbreaking. We are grateful for his service to our city and our nation, and we join his family and friends in mourning his loss.
Bush paid tribute to Beckwith on Monday, saying he had the privilege of staying in touch with “this honest and humble man” over the years.
“When the terrorists attacked, Bob reassembled his gear and, like so many courageous first responders, ran toward danger to save and search for others. His courage represented the spirit of defiance and resilience of New Yorkers and Americans after 9/11,” Bush said in a statement published on X.
Born in 1932, Beckwith had a nearly 30-year career as a New York City firefighter.
Although he retired in 1994, he joined many other current and former first responders to help search for survivors in the hours and days following the attacks.