Our hearts and prayers go out to those who were lost and to the survivors of the recent tsunami that devastated several countries in Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004. And we are grateful for the courageous people who are involved in the extraordinary humanitarian relief effort that continues.
After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I think New Yorkers can especially relate to the need for compassion and how much the spirit of giving helps the healing process. The outpouring of sympathy and contributions already made by countless individuals to the tsunami relief efforts demonstrates the generosity and steadfast commitment we have to helping restore hope to the victims of this awful disaster.
So many Americans have already made monetary donations to help the victims. We know that much more will be needed to help people put their lives back together and to pay for one of the largest humanitarian campaigns ever mounted.
I wish to thank the Orange and Ulster County residents who have been so generous. For them and for those who will be making monetary donations, legislation recently signed into law by President Bush will allow New Yorkers to deduct any donations to tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia through January 31, 2005 on their 2004 New York State tax returns, in addition to their 2004 federal tax returns.