He skipped the photo op to attend an event for Medal of Honor recipients.
Via The Telegraph
Former US President George W Bush reportedly missed the dedication ceremony for the National September 11 Memorial Museum because he felt the emotions his presence would stir would be too much.
As President Barack Obama spoke at the unveiling of the museum in New York on Thursday, the man who was president at the time of the attacks was noticeable by his absence.
According to the museum Mr Bush was invited to the ceremony, but his spokesman Freddy Ford said he was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.
It later emerged that the former president was in Bentonville, Arkansas attending a separate ceremony for 14 living recipients of the Medal of Honour. The event also raised money for the Congressional Medal of Honour Society and Foundation.
Mr Bush faced some criticism for not being at the museum dedication in New York, but his team later posted a photograph on the internet of him at the Arkansas ceremony.
A source close to the organisers of the museum dedication told the New York Daily News the former president felt his presence “would’ve been too emotional”.
In his absence President Obama said the museum was “a sacred place of healing and of hope”.
He told a gathering of victims’ relatives, survivors and rescuers that “like the great wall and bedrock that embrace us today, nothing can ever break us. Nothing can change who we are as Americans,”
The ceremony was also attended by former President Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York.