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Former President Bush Skipping Ground Zero Event with Obama

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President George W. Bush said thanks but no thanks to an invitation from the White House to join President Obama at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan Thursday to mark the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

It was just three days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 that brought down the World Trade Center towers that Bush visited the spot forever to be known as Ground Zero.  At the time, he promised the victims' families, first responders and all Americans that the U.S. would hunt down bin Laden and his minions.

In announcing bin Laden's death Sunday, Obama noted the efforts of his predecessor and later asked Bush to travel to New York City on Thursday to appear at the site where the president will meet with family members of some of the victims, as well as with Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

But a Bush spokesman issued a brief statement in response to the invitation, which declared, "President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday.  He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight.  He continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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