On the first anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed more than two-hundred-thousand lives, President George W. Bush reaffirmed the U.S. commitment "to help the citizens of the affected nations rebuild their economies, communities, and lives.”
On December 26th, 2004, an earthquake centered in the Indian Ocean created a tsunami, a series of tidal waves that killed people in nine countries from Indonesia to Somalia. Entire communities were swept away by the devastating floods caused by the tidal waves. Hundreds of thousands of people were left in the tsunami's wake without homes, jobs, food, or medical care.
In a statement marking the tsunami anniversary, President Bush said that the thoughts, prayers, and commitment of the American people are with the tsunami victims and their families:
"One year after the tsunami, Americans of all faiths join nations around the world in the spirit of unity, remembrance and resolve. May Almighty God comfort all those affected by the tsunami and give them strength."
The United States, said Mr. Bush, "remembers those days of sorrow, and we recall acts of courage and kindness as America and many other nations rallied to help those in need and provide urgent relief.”
Since the tsunami tragedy, the U.S. has provided eight-hundred-forty-one million dollars in relief and reconstruction funds. In addition, the people of the United States have contributed nearly two billion dollars in private funds. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that some six hundred U.S. companies have contributed another five-hundred-and-sixty-six million dollars for relief and reconstruction efforts.
President Bush says the United States will continue to stand with its partners and friends around the world "who suffered such terrible losses on that sad day a year ago".
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.