“You can’t think about it without getting emotional,” Rove said on “Fox & Friends.”
“I particularly remember several weeks afterward, the families of the people who were on Flight 93 -- the people who fought back -- came to the White House. They knew that their loved ones had sacrificed themselves in order to keep that plane from flying in the Capitol or the White House. I’ll never forget meeting them," he said.
Rove was serving as a senior adviser to President George W. Bush on the day of the attack. He said each September 11 he receives an email from former White House chief of staff Andy Card and his assistant calls him at 8:48 a.m., just as she did on that day.
Bush was reading to Florida schoolchildren when the planes struck the Twin Towers. Rove remembered informing the president of the first plane strike, while Card famously interrupted to whisper into Bush's ear about the second strike after officials learned it was an attack on the country.
He remembered that Card briefly paused in the doorway before he left to tell the president what was happening.
"I didn't know why until a couple of years ago ... [Card] explained that when he got to the door, he realized he had to know exactly what he was gonna say to the president so the president wouldn't ask any questions. He went in and said a second plane has flown into the World Trade Center, America is at war," Rove explained.
Rove also spoke about America’s resilience after the tragic event.
“There were concerns that there would be attacks on American Muslims in retaliation for our country being attacked by Islamic extremists and that, by and large, didn’t happen.”
He went on to say, “We kept our focus as a country and our focus was to restore America’s confidence in itself and to live again as we normally would live, to live in freedom, and to take on the enemies of our country who struck us that day and we did.”