President George W. Bush said Wednesday that the Boston Marathon bombings and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, reminded him of tragedies like Sept. 11 that he confronted during his presidency.
Three people were killed and more than 200 were injured in the Boston bombings. Police arrested Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old college student, following an intense manhunt last Friday. His brother and alleged coconspirator, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police earlier that day.
The day before the Tsarnaev brothers were captured, a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, exploded after a fire, killing at least 14 people and leaving hundreds more injured. In his interview with ABC News, Bush said that the twin tragedies reminded him of his time in the White House.
“It did hearken back to days where you become comforter in chief — you try to help heal souls that are hurting,” Bush said.
The former president was speaking ahead of Thursday's unveiling of his presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University. President Obama and the other living former presidents — including Bush's father — will be on hand for the event.
Bush's interview also touched on more frivolous topics, including his retirement hobby of painting. Bush told ABC that producing art "has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way.”
Moreover, the former president said the hobby helped invigorate him in his post-presidency years — something he learned from his father.
“The actual lesson is, you can keep learning in life,” Bush said. “Someone said to me, ‘Man, you deserve to rest.’ And I don’t want to rest. I want to live life. I want to follow the example of President 41 and, you know, sprint into the grave.”