Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS
CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

President Bush Meets With Fire Evacuees in Arizona

Aired June 25, 2002 - 13:56   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take you to eastern Arizona now, where President George W. Bush is speaking with some of the 30,000 people that have been displaced by the fires out there.

We're going to listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He runs what they call FEMA, which is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Its job is to provide help. That's what his job is to do, is to provide help during emergency. And this is an emergency.

Today I signed a declaration declaring this an emergency which then provides for federal help. Which means money to fight the fires. It means temporary housing money and long-term housing money. It means help for small-business owners. I understand there's a lot of small-business owners who are worried about your business, and I don't blame you. I'd be worried too. And it provides help.

It helps provide counseling services, and a lot of folks here -- I hope if you need counseling, you ask for it. A lot of people who want to help.

So this is the federal government's way of committing resources allowed under the law -- full extent of the resources under the law.

I appreciate Congressman J.D. Hayworth for working this issue hard.

I appreciate you being here, J.D. Thanks for coming.

(APPLAUSE)

We got people down here from the Interior Department. A fellow named Steven Griles is the number two man in the Interior Department. I want to thank Steve for being on site here for spending a lot of time in this area, again, to make sure that whatever we can do to help, we really would like to try to do so.

I want to thank the Red Cross. I appreciate the Red Cross.

(APPLAUSE) I want to thank Chad Etmauer (ph), who's, I guess, the man in charge of the Red Cross here. He just gave me a briefing on the number of meals being served: over 9,000 -- the number of people being housed.

You know, one of the great things about this country is that there's a lot of loving people here in this country. I always say...

(APPLAUSE)

... and not only is the Red Cross helping, but the Salvation Army is as well.

See, here's what I tell them...

(APPLAUSE)

What the enemy didn't understand is when they attacked America, they didn't understand how kind and decent this country is. And when people...

(APPLAUSE)

So I'm here to say thanks on behalf of the volunteers, the people who are doing their best to spread compassion to people who need compassion, to spread love to people who need love, to spread guidance to people who seek guidance.

I also want to thank the Forest Service, Dale Bosworth. Listen, we got a lot of work to do to make sure the Forest Service has got wise forest policy, to make sure...

(APPLAUSE)

To maintain the forests so that they're healthy and viable and not become kindling boxes.

I want to thank all the firefighters, the people who are...

(APPLAUSE)

I had the honor of shaking some hands today of some of those who wear the uniform of the firefighter. You know, we focus on the houses which have been lost, and there's been too many houses lost. One house lost is too many houses lost -- one house.

(APPLAUSE)

But there's been thousands of homes saved, too. And that's important.

(APPLAUSE)

The people that are just working their hearts out on behalf of their fellow citizens. You can look in their eyes and see the exhaustion, but I can assure you, having talked to them, and I know you have as well, they're not quitting until this thing is whipped. And I hope that makes you feel somewhat better to know there's a lot of people out there working their heart out on your behalf.

I want to thank the mayors who are here, Kelly -- Mayor Kelly, Mayor Handorf, and Mayor Kay Dyson of Show Low, and Pinetop and Springerville.

You see, one of the other things that's important is there's a lot of local folks who are doing everything they can to help, as well.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to thank Dallas Massey, who is the chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. He came by to say hello today.

Let me make this clear to you. We're all in this together.

(APPLAUSE)

These fires wreak havoc on everybody who stands in their way. They don't pick and choose. And I hope, as we stay united to make sure that we do the best job we can in fighting these fires, that people stay united in doing this. It's an important moment. It's an important time for people to stay bound up in their compassion and in their desire to fight off this devastating disaster that's befallen you all.

And so, it's been my honor to come. I look forward to shaking as many hands as I can.

This is a -- I know it's a tough moment in a lot of people's lives. This is no doubt in my mind. But just like this war we're under, I believe out of evil can come some great good. It's hard to tell it right now.

(APPLAUSE)

PHILLIPS: President Bush meeting with some of 30,000 people displaced by the incredible destruction in eastern Arizona. The president reassuring evacuees that federal money is on the way, on the way for housing, small business owners, counseling facilities, and of course firefighters.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top