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Remarks by AIT Director Stephen M. Young at the Opening Ceremony of the Landmarks of New York Exhibit

OT0614E | Date: 2006-07-27

Chief Secretary Lin, Director Hsiao, distinguished guests:

I am pleased you could join us this evening for the opening of Landmarks of New York, 81 beautiful photographs of New York City's historic buildings.  To highlight the importance of historic preservation and the value of cultural heritage, I am pleased that we are able to hold this event in the National Taiwan Museum, in a neighborhood of Taipei that has retained its traditional character and charm.

This exhibit marks the 40th anniversary of the New York Landmarks Law, which responded to New Yorkers' concerns that if certain physical elements of their city disappeared, certain parts of their history and culture would go with them.  By protecting historic buildings, we can safeguard important elements of our history and culture.  In fact, cultural heritage and historic preservation can have a very positive economic impact on a neighborhood, benefiting tourism, business and industry.

President John F. Kennedy once said, "A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."  You could say the same about the landmarks that a nation chooses to honor and remember - landmarks like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty epitomize the spirit of New York and America.

In the photographs you view tonight, you will see where New Yorkers have lived, worked, learned, prayed, and governed.  Hopefully, you will feel what it's like to be a New Yorker and an American.

This wonderful exhibit, which is touring Asia, will close here in Taipei on September 11th, the date which will commemorate the five-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil.  We will always remember those that lost their lives and honor the American spirit of freedom that will live forever.

If you are an American, I hope these photographs remind you of home.  If you are from Taiwan, I hope these photographs make you want to come and visit, or revisit, the great city of New York.

Thank you for joining us tonight in yet another affirmation of the firm friendship between the people of the United States and Taiwan.  In this beautiful historic building in Taipei, please enjoy the Landmarks of New York.