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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:16, September 09, 2005
US designates remembrance day for hurricane victims
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US President George W. Bush designated on Thursday Sept. 16 as a national day for prayer and remembrance for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Bush said he did so because "throughout our history, in times of testing, Americans have come together, in prayer, to heal and ask for strength for the tasks ahead."

He also pledged to provide 2,000 US dollars for each household of hurricane victims as immediate government support, as well as a full range of health care, job training and other benefits.

Spending on these programs will be covered by a 51.8-billion- dollar emergency relief bill which the Congress has just approved.

Bush cautioned that the American people will "have many difficult days ahead, especially as we recover those who did not survive the storm."

For those who died in the killer storm, he said he had asked the government to treat the dead with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

US Vice President Dick Cheney was assigned by Bush to inspect the hurricane-ravaged areas in the Gulf Coast in the same day.

Accompanied by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Cheney had his first close-up view of the damage caused by Katrina.

At each stop, he reviewed in private the efforts by all levels of government to deal with the disaster.

On Friday, an economic team in Bush's cabinet, including Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart, will tour the affected region.

The team will assess near-term and long-term economic needs of the Gulf Coast and discuss assistance available to individuals and businesses.

Source: Xinhua

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