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March 8th, 2001 – On This Day in Sioux Falls History, President George W. Bush flew into FSD Airport on Air Force One for a two day visit!  Just two months after his first inauguration, President Bush crises crossed the nation building support for his planned adjustments of the National Social Security system.  Of course that part of his agenda never became a huge focus as we all remember the attacks of September 11th of that same year and the subsequent aftermath became the defining events of the Bush administration.

Bush spent time speaking at the Falls Community Health building on his first day here, before retiring for a night of rest in aptly named Presidential Suite of the Sheraton Hotel!  Along with the president, staff members and Secret Service agents took over the top 3 floors of the hotel!

Bush spoke to an audience of over 2,000 at the Air National Guard hanger before climbing back on to Air Force One and heading out of town.  I remember seeing Air Force One from the window of my school bus and being in awe of how massive it was compared to the other little puddle jumper planes at the airport.  Remembering this trip and reviewing records of President Bush’s speeches on this occasion truly is a peak into a presidency that never played out… interrupted by tragedy!