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Press Release

Remarks by Acting Director Joseph R. Donovan on the Three Month Anniversary of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks on the United States December 11, 2001

On behalf of the American people, I would like to sincerely thank all of you for joining us at this late hour to remember the tragic events of this day three months ago in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which are still very fresh in our minds. As we gather here tonight, President Bush is holding a similar event at the White House, while other commemorative events are taking place at the Pentagon, at Ground Zero in New York City, in Pennsylvania, as well as in cities and towns throughout the United States and the world.

On November 20 the terrorists told us that we should “forget” the mass murder they perpetrated on September 11. But we refuse to forget the innocent victims and the brave heroes who died attempting to save them. We refuse to forget the survivors, the children, the devastated families, and the grieving friends they left behind. And we refuse to forget the victims who came from more than eighty countries, including the eight from Taiwan, and the many races and religions of those victims.

The terrorists’ dark and frightening vision will, through courage and perseverance, be relegated, in President Bush’s words, “to history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies.” The terrorists would like nothing more than to silence the civilized world’s opposition to this vision. The President believes that by joining hands in unity today, the light of freedom and opportunity will once again outshine the terrorists’ vision of murder and fear.

Americans living in Taiwan, and indeed many Americans in the United States, have been greatly heartened by the support shown by our friends in Taiwan for both the victims of the September 11 attacks and the ongoing fight against terror. To the people on the street expressing their sympathy after the attacks, to the concerted efforts by groups and individuals to assist the victims, we express our sincerest gratitude. We are especially thankful to the Taiwan Red Cross, the Tzu Chi Foundation, and the Taiwan Government for their outpouring of support.

The generous support from the Taiwan government and from all parts of society deserves our special appreciation. More than U.S. dollars 9.1 million has been donated for humanitarian assistance to the relatives of the 911 victims and to Afghan refugees. This amount includes:

* U.S. dollars 1 million to the Twin Towers Fund in New York City presented by Control Yuan President Frederick Chien,
* U.S. dollars 500,000 by the Red Cross Society to our Red Cross,
* U.S. dollars 1.2 million donated by the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation,
* and U.S. dollars 200,000 from the Buddhist Light International Association.
* Various medical and pharmaceutical associations have also made significant contributions. For these and other contributions we are deeply grateful.

In addition, we’d like to thank the Taiwan Government for it’s unswerving support in our efforts to combat terrorism, especially in acting promptly and thoroughly to close loop holes in the banking system through which money funding terrorist acts could be funneled.

We are now more confident than ever that we will defeat terrorists who cynically commit their acts and shroud them in the name of one of the world’s great peace-loving religions and whose vision of the world allows no place for our shared vision of democracy, opportunity, freedom of dissent and worship, and respect for human rights.

In conclusion, I want to once again thank our friends in Taiwan for all your help during this trying period, and for your cooperation during the ongoing fight against terror. Working together, we will prevail in our struggle to protect our freedom. And let us never forget September 11, 2001. Thank you.