“He kept us safe” is the popular refrain conservatives use to glorify George W. Bush’s presidency. Jeb Bush used it at the 2012 Republican convention and Charles Krauthammer used it in his April 26 op-ed, “The Bush legacy.” Commentators have to include the phrase “since 9/11” because they know that most rational people would otherwise measure Mr. Bush from the beginning of his presidency.

How can the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, not be called a colossal failure on the part of the Bush administration? It had warnings and intelligence, yet it did not act. Do the thousands of people who died on the four flights and in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon that day not count?

I am not specifically blaming Mr. Bush’s administration, but the attacks happened on his watch, whether or not they could have been prevented. It’s ludicrous to consider only Sept. 12, 2001, onward. This is like a factory saying it has a perfect safety record, except for the one day when almost 3,000 people died.

Rick Rinaldi, Gaithersburg

●There are those who have already decided the legacy of President Bush. Critics may be right or wrong. History will be the judge. I strongly agree with these four words oft repeated: “He kept us safe.”

The most important job of any president is keeping America safe. I am most grateful for the anti-terror infrastructure that Mr. Bush created. As our president, he was a kind, decent, thoughtful and moral man who stuck to his principles.

Nancy K. Switzer, Columbia

●Regarding Kathleen Parker’s April 28 column “The Bush I remember”:

Ms. Parker’s unique anecdotes of President Bush comforting her and the son of a friend who died tragically were quite touching. Based on her column, I will accept that he is “a kind man with a gentle heart.” Of course, this does not change the fact that any casual look at his presidency shows a man of extreme arrogance and incompetence. The two sides of Mr. Bush are not mutually exclusive.

Pete Golkin, Arlington