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WASHINGTON-Still in shock over the commercial jetliner crashes that eventually toppled the World Trade Center and careened into the west side of the Pentagon building on September 11, at press time the credit union trade associations, leagues, and NCUA scurried about to gather information and offer assistance to those inside the credit union movement who were affected by the terrorist attacks. “I am saddened by today’s national tragedy,” acting NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this tragedy. In activating the NCUA disaster relief policy, we will coordinate the delivery of any necessary resources and assistance for all federally-chartered and/or federally-insured credit unions which may be required as a result of this incident.” The NCUA Board meeting scheduled for September 13 is will be held. Special Assistant to the Acting Chairman for Media Relations Nick Owens commented that smoke from the wreckage could be seen from NCUA’s seventh floor the day of the attack. “NAFCU and the credit union community as a whole mourn today for Tuesday’s tremendous loss of life and for the grief of those left behind. Our prayers are with the untold number of people whose lives have now been so completely devastated,” said NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker. “We’re confident that the nation will pull together as one to weather yesterday’s tragic events. In fact, we are already hearing that credit unions, in the true cooperative spirit, are lending a hand right now to their members, other credit unions and, indeed, those directly affected by yesterday’s attacks. God bless America,” said Dan Mica, CUNA President and CEO. Washington was virtually shut down and evacuated following the disaster. NCUA’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington, and CUNA’s Washington headquarters were closed by last Tuesday afternoon. NAFCU, with its offices located in Arlington, Va., near the Pentagon, were still operating but allowing employees to leave at will. By Sept. 12, all the offices were open. The attack is said to be the largest scale in the history of the United States, even rivaling Pearl Harbor. Some say the situation is made even worse by the fact that the government is not sure who committed the terrorist acts. The number one suspect currently is Osama bin Laden, an Islamic extremist who has been threatening attacks on U.S. military installations abroad. However, Sadam Hussein’s name has also been mentioned in news reports. All matters before Congress have been put aside until details become clearer regarding the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., as well as what retaliation to take and against who. “Today is a day we spend mourning our fellow Americans who have been lost and sorting through the enormous issues of our national tragedy,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley said in a statement the day following the collisions. Issues that seemed important to the financial services industry, such as bankruptcy reform and deposit insurance reform, have taken a back seat to yesterday’s events. NAFCU Lobbyists Murray Chanow said it was unlikely anything will happen this week on bankruptcy reform. However, he added, “We still expect to get it passed and signed by the President.” The House-Senate conference committee on the bankruptcy reform legislation (H.R. 333/S.420) was expected to hold its first meeting the day after the bombing. The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) announced at press time that it had wired $10,000 from its Disaster Relief Fund to the New York Credit Union Foundation in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. “We still don’t know the full extent of yesterday’s tragedy, but we do know that several credit unions were housed in the World Trade Center,” NCUF Chairman John Fiore said. “The New York Credit Union Foundation is taking the lead on raising funds in support of victims and their families. The National Credit Union Foundation is behind this fundraising effort 100%. We will do anything and everything we can to help, as I’m sure will the worldwide credit union movement.” Credit unions and others who want to help victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center can send donations to the New York Credit Union Foundation. The New York Credit Union Foundation has established a fund “to provide whatever financial and emotional support we can for those credit unions-their staff and volunteers-that have been affected,” says Frank Kerbein, executive director of the New York Credit Union Foundation. “New York has been hit hard by this terrible terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Many members of our credit union family have been affected.” Donations can be sent to Kerbein at the New York Credit Union Foundation, c/o the New York State Credit Union League Inc., P.O. Box 15118, Albany NY 12212-5118. Wired donations are also welcome. Wiring instructions are: Initiate Wire Transfer Empire Corporate Federal Credit Union ABA#: 221381715 New York Credit Union Foundation Disaster Relief Account #221304763 Reference: World Trade Center Attack People can also make a difference by donating blood through their local American Red Cross chapter. That is exactly what the Virginia and Washington, D.C. Credit Union Leagues are urging their members to do, according to Vice President of Communications Donna St. Clair. “We were very fortunate here in Virginia,” she said. Many of the league credit unions are giving blood and the league is scheduled to participate in a blood drive last Thursday. Some credit unions are also making contributions to the New York Credit Union Foundation. [email protected]

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