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Bush Making Another Visit to Area Hit by Hurricane

President Bush spends Monday inspecting hurricane damage along the Gulf Coast of the United States, his third visit to the region in ten days.

The president left Washington for the Gulf Coast on Sunday after events marking the fourth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

As in years past, Mr. Bush marked the occasion with a solemn moment of silence at the White House. But this time, his focus quickly shifted from the victims of terrorism to Americans affected by one of the worst natural disasters in the nation's history.

Mr. Bush flew to the storm-ravaged state of Louisiana for a look at the situation there through the eyes of U.S. military personnel engaged in relief efforts.

His initial destination was a Navy amphibious assault ship docked in the port of New Orleans that is serving as a makeshift command and control center. The president planned to make the USS Iwo Jima his base in New Orleans during his overnight stay.

Aides stress Mr. Bush's schedule remains fluid in the days following the hurricane, but say that in addition to New Orleans, the president is likely to visit Gulfport, Mississippi before returning to Washington.

All levels of government have come under sharp criticism for their handling of the initial response to the disaster. In his Saturday radio address, President Bush promised that areas affected by the hurricane will come back more vibrant than ever.