President Bush, center, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, left, and New York Gov. George Pataki, second from left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from right, and former New York City Fire Commissioner Thomas Van Essen, right, look toward the fallen buildings during a tour of the World Trade Center, in this Sept. 14, 2001 photo taken in New York.
A spokesman for George W. Bush says the former president has declined an invitation from President Barack Obama to attend an observance at New York's ground zero.
Obama plans to visit the site of the destroyed World Trade Center towers Thursday in the aftermath of a Navy SEALs raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The al-Qaida attack, which killed about 3,000 people, occurred in the early months of Bush's presidency in 2001.
The spokesman, David Sherzer, said the former president appreciated the offer to attend but has chosen to remain out of the spotlight during his post-presidency.
Sherzer said Bush celebrates bin Laden's death as an "important victory in the war on terror."