Today our Department marks its 18th anniversary. It was 18 years ago to the day that the Department of Homeland Security took its charge to protect the American people. The need and urgency were clear after the horrendous attacks of September 11, 2001.
Together we confront the threats our Nation faces every day. Whether by air, land, sea, or in cyberspace, we are there to protect the American people and our way of life against threats both foreign and domestic. Together we have prevented terrorist attacks, strengthened our cybersecurity and border security, enabled lawful immigration, provided humanitarian relief, supported communities in the wake of natural disasters, and helped secure the integrity of our election systems. We have facilitated lawful trade and travel, protected critical infrastructure, guarded against biological threats, and developed innovative technologies to advance our mission. We have interdicted drugs, illicit cash, and counterfeit goods, and captured human traffickers and others who endanger our communities. We have played a pivotal role in the battle against an unprecedented global pandemic.
We have not done this alone. We could not succeed without the valuable contributions of our state, local, tribal, territorial, and international partners. We are grateful for, and proud of, our partnerships.
Most importantly, we could not achieve our mission without your extraordinary talent and dedication.
As we reflect on our beginnings, let us take a moment to renew our vow to each other and to our fellow Americans.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve alongside you. Thank you for everything you do.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.