Remarks by Ambassador Colleen Bell
at the Central Museum of Disaster Management
September 9, 2016
– as prepared for delivery –
State Secretary László Tasnádi, Major General Dr. Tibor Tollar, Fire Captain Dan Daly, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honor to be here this morning for the opening of this important exhibition. On behalf of the American people, I would like to convey my gratitude to the staff of the Central Museum of Disaster Management and its Director, Dr. Imre Berki, for organizing and hosting this exhibition. The photographs that are being shown at the Museum remind us of the ultimate sacrifice that the men and women who serve as first responders make in the line of duty.
Today we honor the three hundred forty three firefighters, the sixty police officers, and the eight emergency medical technicians who gave their lives on September 11, 2001 saving the lives of others. We also remember the over three thousand individuals from over ninety countries who lost their lives in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC in the senseless and tragic terrorist attacks on that fateful day.
The American people are grateful for the outpouring of support we received after the terrorist attacks and for the continued support in our joint efforts to counter terrorism throughout the world. We remain strong and steadfast in our commitment to end senseless terrorist acts against innocent men and women.
The great Scottish philosopher, Thomas Carlyle once said: “Show me the person you honor, and I will know what kind of a person you are.” By honoring the brave men and women who gave their lives on September 11, the men and women of the Hungarian Disaster Management Directorate clearly demonstrate the value they place on their vocation and the exceptional commitment they make to serve and help their fellow human beings.
I recognize and commend the dedication and professionalism of the men and women who serve as first responders in Hungary — firefighters and paramedics alike. Time and again, you have risen to the call to serve and protect the people. Several years ago, during the severe flooding, your organized response helped save lives without a single casualty. More recently, your highly skilled urban rescue team worked alongside their American colleagues to save lives after the tragic earthquake in Ecuador.
Today, we not only remember our fallen heroes, we also honor the brave men and women in Hungary who put their lives on the line to help all of us each and every day. Therefore, I would like to convey, on behalf of the Embassy team and the American people, our gratitude to the Hungarian first responders for their sacrifices to make our lives safer and better.
Thank you. Köszönöm szépen.