The move to St. Elizabeth's will mark a new chapter for the department, as we begin the process of consolidating many of our offices around the city into the new headquarters. The Secretary spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of departmental unity and the economic benefit to the area that will result from the new headquarters:
“The Department of Homeland Security continues to unify our many components into one cohesive agency with a shared central mission,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The construction of our new headquarters at St. Elizabeth's using Recovery Act funding will help consolidate more than 35 offices in the Washington area while creating thousands of local jobs.”
Senator Lieberman spoke as well, noting that the new headquarters is the largest building project in the Washington metro area since the Pentagon. That groundbreaking was held 68 years ago this week, on September 11th, 1941, and 60 years to the day before the 9/11 attacks. It was that same day in 1941 that President Roosevelt spoke to the American people during one of his fireside chats, saying, "When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike you, do not wait until he has struck." Senator Lieberman talked about the creation of the department after the 9/11 attacks, and how our foundation, and our continuing mission, fall in line with President Roosevelt's message to the American people that evening.
We'll have video from the event soon.