News from and about Ukraine & Ukrainians: Ukrainian Community Press Releases
BRAMA, September 13, 2002, 11:00am ET
Ukraine 9/11 speech given in the House of Representatives by Congressman Bob Schaffer
Mr. Speaker, this hallowed day, the anniversary of the terrible terrorist attack upon the United States, is one that is observed throughout America. The eloquence of our colleagues in this House has stirred our hearts, described our attitudes and revealed the nation’s character. America’s tragedy is mourned this day throughout the world, too.
It is important for Americans to understand and appreciate the outpouring of support, the gestures of solidarity and the prayers of the faithful bestowed upon us by the people of the world. As Co-chairman of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, I rise today to speak about one country’s goodwill toward the American people in commemoration of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been an ardent supporter of democratic development in Ukraine. The full commercial and strategic potential of a democratic Ukraine is staggering and the desire for freedom is deeply rooted in the Ukrainian psyche.
Mr. Speaker, in the hours, days and weeks following the attacks, the Ukrainian people grieved with America and the rest of the world. The sentiments of the Ukrainian people were echoed in this open letter from Bishop Stanislaw Shyrokoradiuk of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr:
As a country, Ukraine immediately declared its solidarity with the United States, offering support morally, technically, militarily and with the capabilities of its infrastructure. Ukraine’s stance clearly demonstrated its friendship with the U.S. and the forces of freedom.
Most helpful has been Ukraine’s clearance of airspace to nearly 5,000 U.S. and allied aircraft flying to and from Afghanistan and aid in transporting allied troops and materiel by air and train. Ukraine also provided planes and crews in order to facilitate transportation for coalition forces and humanitarian missions over Iran.
Ukrainian security forces have been cooperating with Americans offering intelligence regarding the fighting in Afghanistan and other security concerns. Ukraine’s international efforts in leading the Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia Group (GUUAM) to secure strategic transport corridors from terrorist activity have helped secure the entire regional community. Ukraine has cooperated with us in blocking and investigating the financial transactions and accounts of suspected terrorists.
Just today, Mr. Speaker, Ukraine’s Parliament, the Verkhovna (Supreme) Rada, unanimously passed three resolutions in support of America. One extends Ukraine’s profound sympathy to the families and friends of victims. Another directs the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to establish a memorial at the World Trade Center in New York, to the Ukrainians who perished there. The third resolution outlines Ukraine’s commitment to the future of freedom and reaffirms Ukraine’s solidarity in the war on terrorism and its commitment to strengthen international peace and security.
The latter resolution lucidly addresses issues of global concern, including environmental problems and global health issues. Currently, Ukraine is preparing to send two IL-76 cargo planeloads of small arms, ammunition and other military equipment to outfit the Afghan National Army.
This morning, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma met with our Ambassador Carlos Pascual. The president pledged his country’s continued support for Operation Enduring Freedom and expressed his regret of the loss of American lives one year ago.
This afternoon, Ukraine’s Ambassador Kostyantyn Gryshchenko visited me in my office here in Washington, D.C., and extended his country’s condolences, support and solidarity. He asked me to express to the House, Ukraine’s commitment to America’s war on terrorism. He assured me the prayers of countless Ukrainians are for the repose of the souls of victims.
At this moment in Kyiv, Mr. Speaker, Ukrainians are paying their respects as they observe a large photo collage of Ground Zero. The display honors the emergency workers and heroes of 9/11. There is a similar exhibit at the Ukrainian National Gallery, and on Friday, Ukrainians will hold a commemorative concert at the National Opera.
Ukraine’s condemnation of international terrorism, its much-appreciated support in the war on terrorism, its tough newly-enacted laws to combat terrorism, and its commitment to fight at the side of the United States and its allies for civil society and democracy clearly demonstrates the role Ukraine and her people intend to play. Ukraine’s support for America is deeply appreciated.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the people of Ukraine for their condolences and camaraderie and commend Ukraine’s leaders for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States.
Mr. Speaker, I hereby submit for the Record the Resolution adopted this morning by Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada:
Schaffer Commends Ukraine for 9/11 Support
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Bob Schaffer (R-CO), Co-Chairman of the House of Representatives Ukrainian Caucus, today praised Ukraine and its people for its support and solidarity with the people of the U.S. after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
“In the hours, days and weeks following the attacks, the Ukrainian people grieved with America and the rest of the world affected by this tragedy,” Schaffer said in a speech before the House today marking the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
“As a country, Ukraine declared its solidarity with the United States, offering support morally, technically, militarily and with the capabilities of its infrastructure,” Schaffer said. “Most helpful were Ukraine's clearance of airspace to nearly 5,000 U.S. and allied aircraft flying to and from Afghanistan, aid in transporting allied troops and materiel by air and train, and technical and military intelligence regarding fighting in Afghanistan.”
“Ukraine's condemnation of international terrorism, its much-appreciated support in the war on terrorism, its tough newly-enacted laws to combat terrorism, and its commitment to fight at the side of the United States and its allies for civil society and democracy demonstrates the role Ukraine and her people intend to play in the emerging democracy," Schaffer said.
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Congressman Schaffer was first elected to Congress in November of 1996. He is a member of the Committees on Agriculture, Resources, and Education and Workforce. He is Vice Chairman of the Education Subcommittee on Education Reform, Co-Chairman of the Ukrainian Caucus, President of the Republican Junior Class, and the Speaker’s appointee to the House Republican Policy Committee. His official Internet website address is www.house.gov/schaffer.
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