On September 11th we watched the news with consternation. Information about the terrorist attack on the “The Twins” rotated worldwide. The tragedy, which happened in the distant United States, had profoundly affected us. Perhaps all the more since in February, 2001 we conducted in the winter garden of the “The Twins” (The World Trade Centre) several programs presenting Slovakia in New York called, Celebrate Slovakia, and therefore we spent two months there. In the last three days of September we managed to carry out an event, which expressed our feelings of solidarity and support.
The project, We Are in the Same Boat, was an immediate reaction to the events of September 11th and its intention was to express Slovak solidarity with US citizens. The project took place at the end of September in 2001 in 35 Slovak towns. Nearly 100,000 people from all over Slovakia joined the project during three days. In every town, squares were filled with large 3 to 5 meters boats with small paper boats. As it turned out, it was the largest project of its kind in Europe.
The New York State Governor, George E. Pataki, Senator Hillary R. Clinton, and Kofi Anan, United Nations Secretary General, personally took 94,376 boats – a symbolic message from the Slovaks. Hillary R. Clinton said: “One hundred thousand boats are like a hundred thousand bonds between our countries.”
Among the participants were Eduard Kukan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic; Douglas Hengel, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the USA in the Slovak Republic; Ralph Johnson, a former United States ambassador in Slovakia, John Goodish, President of U.S. Steel Košice, and others.