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 Home > News & Policies > September 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 24, 2004

President Thanks Red Cross, DC Schoolchildren for Helping Russian Terror Victims
The South Portico

10:57 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, thank you all for coming. The barbaric terrorist attack on a Russian school three weeks ago sickened the world. America grieves with the people of Russia, and we pray for the innocent victims and their families in Beslan.

In America, we've witnessed an outpouring of compassion for the Russian people. Today, I'm joined by Sue Huddle and her students from John Quincy Adams Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Thank you all for coming. They helped organize a toy and school supply drive for the children of Beslan.

President George W. Bush thanks U.S. school children and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for their efforts to aid the victims of the school siege in Beslan, Russia, during a statement to the press on the South Lawn Friday, Sept. 24, 2004.  White House photo by Paul Morse Kesley O'Marra is here, too. She is a seventh grader at Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, Maryland. She helped lead a school fundraiser to help the victims of Beslan. Kelsey, thank you for your leadership and your compassion.

These children show the sympathy and compassion and generosity of our whole nation. I'm also joined by Marty Evans, the President of the American Red Cross. Thanks for coming, Marty.

MS. EVANS: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: The Red Cross is working hard to make sure the people in Beslan get the help they need. Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world have already received $680,000 in donations for aid to Russia, enough to provide emergency medical care and counseling for 2,000 people. I want to thank Marty for her leadership and her tireless efforts. I thank all Americans who have contributed to this important cause. I hope many more will donate in the days ahead.

I'm also honored to be with the Ambassador from Russia, Yuri Ushakov. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for coming. He's here with the children from the Russian Embassy School. Earlier this month, I went to the Russian Embassy to express my condolences on behalf of the American people. The atrocities in Beslan reinforce the need for free nations to work together for peace and security. All Americans stand with the people of Russia in this wake of tragedy. We will stand with them as they rebuild, just like we stand with the people of Florida.

Another storm is headed in that direction. It will be another test of will and compassion. I know the Red Cross is ready, and I want to thank the Red Cross for being ready the help the citizens of that beleaguered state one more time. We extend our prayers to the people down there. We hope for the very best. The federal government, the armies of compassion stand ready to help.

Thank you all for coming. Thank you for your compassion. May God bless the people of Russia and the United States.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 11:01 A.M. EDT