U.S. President George W. Bush on Sunday left Washington for a series of activities including tours of the three 9/11 attack sites in the next 24 hours to mark the catastrophic event occurred five years ago.
According to CNN Television, Bush attended a prayer service at St. Paul's Chapel in New York, across the street from the Ground Zero, where 2,749 died when the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed after being hit by hijacked airliners.
Before that, the president laid a wreath and made a few comments at Ground Zero.
On Monday, Bush will pay a visit to a New York firehouse nicknamed "Fort Pitt" in the Lower East Side in honor of the first responders who rushed into the towers.
He will have breakfast with firefighters, police officers and Port Authority police and observe moments of silence to mark the times when planes struck each tower.
Bush's next stop is Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where 40 people died when a plane slammed into the ground, and then the Pentagon, to mark the deaths of 184 there, before returning to the White House for the televised speech at the prime night time.
In the 9/11 anniversary of 2002, Bush also toured each attack site, embracing family members of the victims and speaking at the Pentagon and New York's Ellis Island.
Since then, he has kept a lower profile on the anniversary.
As this year's anniversary falls less than two months before the midterm elections, Bush's tours of the attack sites are seen as a political move to remind Americans that his party is stronger in the issue of national security.