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Tribute To The Heroes Of The 14Th Congressional District

Rep. Anna G. Eshoo

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the extraordinary women and men of the distinguished 14th Congressional District for their heroic responses to the tragic events of a year ago.

On the first anniversary of the attacks on our nation, we reaffirm our commitment to the ideals that have made the United States of America the greatest nation on earth. We have grieved for our lost loved ones, and now we continue the work of a freedom-loving nation. We take pride in and are in awe of what the American people have done in response to the attack on our nation. They have been brave, and generous and the entire world has witnessed the strength and the decency of our people. Americans respond with open, brave and generous hands and hearts to those who are in need.

Mr. Speaker, the 14th Congressional District lost two extraordinary people, Naomi Solomon and Andrew Garcia, who enriched the lives of everyone they knew and loved.

I ask my colleagues to join me in once again offering our deepest sympathy and that of our entire national to the Solomon and Garcia families.

This nation had many heroes on September 11, 2001. We all know of the supreme sacrifice made by so many firefighters, police officers and others in their response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We know of the heroism of those on the hijacked planes who prevented even more calamitous attacks on our nation's Capitol. We've learned about of the heroism of people all over our country who pitched in to give service to others.

Mr. Speaker, it is with a great sense of honor and pride that I ask my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to all who have emerged from the tragedies of that fateful day to embody what it means to be true American Heroes by giving so much of their time, talents and resources to heal the wounds of September 11, 2001. There are too many individuals, organizations and companies to name each separately, but I'd like to honor in our Nation's Record a few examples of some of the many people of the 14th Congressional District who rose to the occasion in extraordinarily generous ways:

The Town of Woodside Firefighters--held a ``Fill the Boot'' fundraiser on Sept 30th for the New York Fire 9-11 Relief Fund.

YWCA and the Mountain View City Human Relations Commission--held a ``Building Community, Understanding and Respect'' forum and dialogue in response to Sept. 11th.

The Menlo Park Community Chorus and the Foothill Orchestra--organized a program of patriotic and inspirational music on Dec 15th which benefited the ``victims and heroes'' of Sept. 11th.

Banks, Financial Institutions and Credit Unions including San Mateo Credit Union and Stanford Credit Union--maintained and kept open their financial networks for their customers despite the resulting chaos of the attacks; and organized fundraising campaigns among their employees and customers to benefit the families affected by Sept. 11th.

Gallery Europa in Palo Alto owners Louise Erricson and David Himmelberger organized a special exhibit in which the sale proceeds were donated to families of victims of Sept. 11th.

Hyland Hogan and Lane Lees of the Half Moon Bay Fire District--following September 11th, they boarded a plane and were adopted by NYFD Ladder Company 3 where they helped the company after it lost 12 of its members and assisted the families of lost firefighters. In May, the district presented the New York Company with a memorial hand-made case holding an ax recovered by one of the firefighters and pictures of the 12 who perished.

All the teachers and school administrators (like Jill Ballard and Sherry Fulton who teach American Literature and Studies at Half Moon Bay High School)--who changed their curricula and schedules to help students understand and cope with the events of September 11th.

Law enforcement agencies and organizations like the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and the San Mateo County Deputy Sheriff's Association--set up funds to help the families of police officers killed in the Sept 11th attacks. California Task Force 3 Urban Search and Rescue--deployed local firefighters and other task force members to New York to assist at ground zero.

The Children of the Payvand Cultural School of Cupertino, an Iranian Community Based School--filmed a special video after 9/11 to spread the message of tolerance and peace. The video is named Hand in Hand and it was sent to President Bush.

Local Media--reporters like Mark Simon and Tom Abate with the San Francisco Chronicle, Loretta Green, Leigh Weimers and Jim Puzzanghera with the San Jose Mercury News, Don Kazak, Palo Alto Weekly, Dave Price with the Palo Alto Daily reporters from The Almanac, Half Moon Bay Review/Pescadero Pebble, San Mateo County Times, Redwood City Independent, Los Altos Town Crier, Mountain View Voice, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Gentry, San Jose Magazine, Sunnyvale Sun, Cupertino Courier all provided critical information, told our collective stories, shared our thoughts and helped to underscore a message of hope and tolerance.

Silicon Valley Companies and Businesses--Silicon Valley companies came together with their employees immediately after 9/11 to raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations. Many of the contributions made by companies were matched by employees, which brought aid to the affected families including those of firefighters and police officers. The senior executives at Sun Microsystems raised $1 million and the company matched dollar per dollar all employee contributions. That effort raised an additional $500,000. Sun Microsystems, like many Silicon Valley companies also participated in Ebay's Auction for America, donating over $1.3 million worth of products. Hewlett-Packard employees gave $1 million to support relief efforts. HP itself contributed $2 million, and matched its employees' gifts with another $1 million. In addition, HP like many other Silicon Valley companies, donated equipment to assist in the September 11 relief efforts. Companies like National Semiconductor not only made monetary contributions but also organized employee blood drives. Paypal, through their members helped raise $2.35 million for the National Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross. Cadence, under the leadership of CEO Ray Bingham, raised over $1.6 million in contributions to the American Red Cross and to the New York Firefighters' 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund. Cadence and its employees also held a special flag raising ceremony commemorating the tragic events of 9-11. Apple too went above and beyond to assist the victims. In addition to financial contributions to the Red Cross, Apple donated iBooks to the children of the rescue workers who lost their lives in the line of duty. These are but a few examples of the many contributions made by the employers and employees of the 14th Congressional District.

CHUMS--Children United Morally and Spiritually--designed an interfaith holiday card which they sold and donated the proceeds to victims of 9/11.

VA Palo Alto National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD) staff including Director Fred Gusman, Gregory Leskin, Robyn Walser, Sherry Riney, and Ken Drescher who traveled to the Pentagon to provide the Department of Defense guidance and assistance for the psychological response efforts following 9/11.

The men and women of the California Highway Patrol--whose continuing vigilance helps ensure the safety of our bridges, airports, and other infrastructure.

The members of the Reserves and California National Guard who have been mobilized and their families--many of these dedicated individuals have taken deep pay cuts and will endure long separations from their families to prosecute the war on terror.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Stanford University (particularly Eric Weiss MD and Lou Saksen)--formed a Bioterrorism Preparedness Group to respond immediately and appropriately to any suspected cases of bioterrorism.

USPS--dealt with the aftermath of the Anthrax attacks and continued to provide excellent service by delivering mail and keeping their offices open to the public.

American Red Cross Palo Alto Area Chapter Deployed September 11th Volunteers: The Chapter was second in the State of California for percentage of response based on chapter population and serves 250,000 people in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, at Stanford University and Moffett Federal Airfield. The following Red Cross-trained volunteers and staff were deployed for assignments which lasted up to three weeks at a time following the September 11 attacks:

American Red Cross Palo Alto Chapter (locally): Palo Alto Area Red Cross Chapter led by Executive Director Patricia J. Bubenik, staff members and volunteers assisted four local families with issues related to the September 11 disaster, including counseling the family of a victim of the Pennsylvania air crash. Mental health disaster volunteers went to schools, PTAs, and church groups requesting help in the aftermath. Volunteers delivered materials to schools to assist with the conversations with children, teachers and parents.

The chapter staff also processed a total of $1,168,737 in donations designated for the National Red Cross (between September 11, 2001 and June 30, 2002).

At the same time, the Chapter continued to respond to an increased interest in first aid and CPR classes and trained an increased number of disaster service volunteers who came in response to the September 11 tragedies. They also registered and placed an unprecedented number of volunteers who wanted to be of service within the community.