Statement on Signing the Bill Expressing Support for the Earthquake Victims in Mexico

October 4, 1985

The tragedy that has unfolded in Mexico in the past several days is of historic proportion. Thousands have lost their lives; thousands more have been injured. The devastation done to one of the world's great cities is massive. Nancy went to Mexico City and saw the damage firsthand. She saw the depth of the suffering, the extent of the destruction, and the courage and determination of the Mexican people to overcome the catastrophe that has befallen them.

I am signing House Joint Resolution 394 that expresses our sympathy as a nation for the people and Government of Mexico. The United States is already providing emergency medical, water storage, and communications supplies to help alleviate the immediate suffering from this tragic event. In addition, we stand ready to cooperate with Mexico in long-term efforts to recover from the effects of the earthquake. A global effort will surely be needed and will surely be forthcoming. The United States will fully support such an undertaking.

This resolution reflects the spontaneous support that has come from all sectors in the United States. State and local governments, church groups, schools, businesses, labor unions, and individual citizens have given generously and freely in an effort to relieve the evident human suffering. With pride and dignity, the people of Mexico have accepted this help from their neighbors as they have carried out an impressive effort of their own to save lives and to protect the well-being of those affected. This tragedy has demonstrated dramatically that, indeed, we are more than neighbors; we are brothers. Their pain is our pain; their loss is our loss. Throughout the past several days as citizens of Mexico waited, citizens of the United States also waited for news of loved ones. Hundreds of thousands called our Department of State to learn the fate of friends and family members in the earthquake zone.

This tragedy, the shared sorrow, the spontaneous acts of friendship and assistance -- all of these things clearly demonstrate that our lives, our fortunes, and our futures are inextricably intertwined. We will respond with sympathy knowing that were the situation reversed, Mexicans would react with the same compassion for us. As I have said many times, we are all Americans. And today I say again, todos somos Americanos.

Note: H.J. Res. 394, approved October 4, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 116.