(Sunday, September 20, 2020- Washington, DC) – “Today marks the third anniversary of Hurricane María, one of the most devastating natural disasters in our nation’s history. Puerto Rico will never forget September 20th, 2017, three years ago, when María, a deadly hurricane, made landfall just two weeks after Hurricane Irma’s passage. These hurricanes’ impact caused irreparable harm to Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and its way of life.
Three years later, damages continue to be estimated; however, history will remember this day for the island’s resiliency to overcome challenges and move forward in the aftermath of a major disaster. Today I want to acknowledge the anonymous heroes we will never hear about: that neighbor that lend a hand to clean debris; that family member that fed those who were hungry; and that friend that knocked on doors to make sure everyone was safe. To those unnamed, unrecognized heroes, I offer my gratitude.
As the bridge between the island and the mainland, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) has continued to work tirelessly on the island’s recovery with Congress, the Administration, and Federal Agencies. Puerto Rico’s recovery is an ongoing process, and there is still much more to be done to ensure the island can fully recover and be more resilient against future natural disasters.
As we commemorate this somber anniversary, I recognize the lives that were lost and remember them with respect and honor. Puerto Rico has faced many challenges in the past three years: hurricanes, earthquakes, and a global pandemic. Yet, no matter the challenge, our people rise above and are able to overcome it by standing together, united. We have a long journey on our path to achieve a full recovery, but the spirit of the people of Puerto Rico is a testament to the strength and bravery of that small island in the middle of the ocean.”