McCollum Statement on American Response to Disaster in Haiti
Madam Speaker, it is my privilege to join my colleagues today in recognizing the extraordinary American response to the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010. I am proud to support H.Res. 1048, H.Res. 1059, and H.Res. 1066. Each of these resolutions honors the courage and sacrifice of the Americans who rushed to aid the people of Haiti in their time of need.
The United States, with its swift and steadfast response, has once again demonstrated the common decency and compassion of its citizens. When the lives of our neighbors are at stake, Americans do not hesitate. In the first ten days after the catastrophic earthquake-the worst to strike Haiti in 200 years-over 14,000 members of the Armed Forces, thousands of U.S. Army Reserve rescue workers, and hundreds of government and volunteer personnel were on the ground to provide immediate assistance to the Haitian people. While American search and rescue teams pulled survivors from the rubble, and Federal employees raced to distribute water, food, and medical supplies, the American public donated hundreds of millions of dollars to support relief efforts. Remarkably, a recent poll found that nearly half of American families had donated, even in the midst of this difficult economic recession.
As I express my gratitude today to every American that has taken part in the disaster response, it is not without a heavy heart. Haitians and the Haitian-American community have endured unspeakable loss, and the road to recovery will be long and difficult. America must continue to stand by Haiti and lead the international effort toward its recovery.