First lady - Don't forget relatives of Sept. 11 victims

Monday, December 23, 2002

WASHINGTON-- Laura Bush urged Americans on Sunday to keep the relatives of last year's Sept. 11 attack victims in their hearts this Christmas season as they reach out to the poor and lonely.

"I know we saw, after September 11th, so many people try to help all the people who lost somebody on September 11th. And this'll be their second Christmas without the person they loved best, that went to work that morning," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Bush said she knows the families still need help, and prays for peace next year.

"So I know they still need help, their children, all those babies who've been born since September 11th," she said. "Those mothers want to know that Americans care for them still."

Mrs. Bush said she prays for peace next year, even as President Bush weighs "the most difficult decision any president ever faces" -- whether to send young Americans to war, this time against Iraq if it does not disarm.

She said was reminded of the gravity of the decision in recent days as she and the president greeted thousands of people during White House Christmas parties and heard from many guests that they had sons or daughters in the military.

"You can see in the faces of those parents that they're really proud of their children but they're also, of course fearful," she said.

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