Seventeen years ago, America was violently attacked by terrorists, forever altering our nation’s history. We will never forget the nearly 3,000 souls who perished on that fateful day. And in the years since, we have continued to honor their memory by resolving to dismantle and destroy terrorist organizations, wherever they may hide, so that no family—and no nation—has to again suffer what so many experienced on September 11th, 2001.
Despite the tragic loss of life, the 9/11 attacks brought the American people together, demonstrating to the world our relentless resolve. We saw real heroism as brave first responders ran toward the danger. Individuals donated their time and money to survivors and families of the victims. And citizens waited in lines around the block to give blood.
These attacks strengthened our solemn pledge to defend our homeland against all enemies, and led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
In the years since DHS opened its doors, our responsibilities have expanded significantly, but our core mission has remained the same: to protect the American people.
We must remain ever on guard. Hostile nation-states, terrorists, and transnational criminals are filling power vacuums which are springing up across the globe. They all share a common goal—to disrupt our way of life, and to incite chaos, instability, and violence.
Today let us focus—not on the actions of our enemies—but on the courage and resilience of the American people, and the unwavering efforts of the men and women on the front lines.
I am forever proud of the brave men and women of DHS who go to work every day to fulfill the promise we made after 9/11. As DHS Secretary, I will continue to do all I can to support you, and as an American, I thank you. You and your families—who serve as you serve—have my deepest respect and gratitude.
Today, we recommit ourselves to our mission: With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.
My best regards,
Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security
With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.