Dinasty Brown still remembers how excited she was to meet president George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001. “My grandmother pressed my uniform extra hard that day, making sure I looked really good. My mom did my hair,” Brown, now 26, told The Post. “It was a very big moment for us. Most people don’t get the chance to meet the president.”
Brown was one of 16 students — all from teacher Kay Daniels’ gifted class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. — chosen to read for the president. The second-graders were mostly African Americans from poor backgrounds. They were the future of America.
“We were selected because we were overachievers. It was my first experience as a celebrity. I felt important,” Brown recalled.
In the middle of showcasing their reading skills to the president, something changed the course of the visit — and the nation.
“A man [chief of staff Andy Card] came out of nowhere and whispered into [Bush’s] ear. His whole face changed and went red. He kind of stared off for a moment,” said Brown, recalling the second the president learned that a plane had hit the World Trade Center’s South Tower after another had crashed into the North Tower. “There was a shift of energy in the room. He was in another world. He was there, but he wasn’t tuned in to what was going on.”
A new documentary, “9/11 Kids,” talks to the classmates about how that deadly day has shaped their lives. (It’s part of the DOC NYC festival and available for streaming from Nov. 11 through 19.)
Director Elizabeth St. Philip told The Post: “[The students] know their place in history. They think about that day quite often . . . and they know they’re special as a result.” One student, Natalia Jones-Pinkney, even had a brief letter correspondence with President Bush after 9/11. “She believes she has a special connection to him,” said St. Philip.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Doree Lewak