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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 01:50 GMT 02:50 UK
Bush is 'my Churchill'

Jimmy Boyle
Jimmy Boyle reflects at Ground Zero

With less than two weeks to go before the US election, the BBC's Panorama programme went to New York to ask families who lost loved ones on 11 September whether George Bush has made the world safer.

Jimmy Boyle lost his son Michael, a fireman, in the attack on the World Trade Center. A former firefighters union leader himself, he was a lifelong Democrat but 9/11 changed all that.

He is the star of a Republican election campaign advert in which he says: "I feel very comfortable with [Bush] as president. We want a guy that's going to lead us to victory in this war."

My background is I'm a lifelong Democrat.

I've been voting for president since 1960, John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, right down the line, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore.

In Bush we've got a leader and we need a leader and he's my leader, he's my Churchill
Jimmy Boyle

My family always voted Democrat also.

Every morning I wake up, I see his pictures (of Michael). Every night when I go to bed I see his pictures so I miss him terribly.

He was going to be the Jimmy Boyle of the future, he was going to be head of the union I have no doubt about it.

In Bush we've got a leader and we need a leader and he's my leader, he's my Churchill.

I still believe there are links with al-Qaeda in the whole world. I think they are linked together.

(When we met George W Bush) he came out and he said: "Wow Jim, thanks so much, that was the best."


He said: "I can't thank you guys enough. I'm just elated. Thanks so much, and Jimmy, I ain't going to forget your son."

He's written me a note on that, you know. "I'm not going to forget your son. Your son didn't die in vain."

I didn't feel used. I want George Bush to win. I just can't get this across. They're not using me. If I didn't want to go I wouldn't go.

I want him to win and in my small way I hope I help him. I'm proud of him as a president, I'm very proud of the man.

I pray that he continues in office because I think if he continues in office its a message also to the other side.

We're not going to change leadership. They're not going to intimidate us.

Panorama: Families at war was broadcast on BBC One on Sunday, 24 October 2004 at 22:15 BST

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