Today, the mission of the American Red Cross is more relevant than ever as we confront a changing America full of unique challenges. The heroic efforts of the first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks became a source of strength for millions of people around the world and here in Brazil, Ind., struggling to comprehend this terrible tragedy. From their example came a new resolve: To be better prepared in the event of another wide-scale attack anywhere in America. Today, in a collaborative effort with the federal government and other members of the emergency planning community, the Wabash Valley Red Cross and its partners are better able to serve the community. Through its bold, new Together We Prepare initiative, the Red Cross is leading the way in empowering individuals and families to protect themselves. With five simple steps -- make a plan, build a kit, get trained, volunteer and give blood -- the Wabash Valley Red Cross and Americans from coast to coast will help make their communities safer.
For more than 121 years, the American Red Cross has honored its mission; to provide relief to victims of disasters while helping people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Last year alone, more than 200 silent heroes helped our neighbors by supporting the efforts of the Wabash Valley Red Cross chapter, and almost 20,036 more took the time to learn lifesaving skills such as first aid, CPR and defibrillator use.
Community involvement is critical for programs that prepare individuals, families and neighborhoods for emergencies. Through its presence in Brazil, the Red Cross is the leader in empowering people in this neighborhood to be ready and prepared for the unexpected.
The victims of more than 100 disasters -- from fires that affected a single structure to spring flooding -- received help from the Wabash Valley Red Cross last year. The Red Cross also responded to international emergencies by aiding other countries devastated by natural disasters and helping people in other nations get access to safe drinking water and battle malnutrition and life-threatening diseases such as measles. More than 1,500 U.S. military families received direct assistance from the Wabash Valley Red Cross, keeping them connected in times of great personal sorrow and joy.
Those who need to keep in touch with their loved ones serving in the military, those who are victims of disaster or those who are the recipients from the broad spectrum of community services rely on the Wabash Valley Red Cross every day. Compassionate and caring people who want to make a difference in Brazil, Ind., and across the nation, at home and abroad, channel their support through the American Red Cross.
On behalf of a grateful nation, I applaud and recognize the selfless dedication of generations of Red Crossers. Now, therefore, I, Kenneth Crabb, Mayor of the City of Brazil, Ind., by virtue of the authority vested in me by Brazil, Clay County, Ind., do hereby proclaim March 2003 as American Red Cross Month. As we celebrate American Red Cross Month, I call upon all our citizens of Brazil, Ind., to become partners in preparedness with American Red Cross of the Wabash Valley and to become active participants in advancing the noble mission of the Red Cross.