Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement regarding the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, which occurred five years ago today:
“The impact of an act of hate is never momentary. Whether it is a terrorist attack, like the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue that killed eleven people and wounded six others five years ago today, or something as anonymous as a swastika graffitied on a dorm room door, the hurt and fear such an act engenders always reverberates beyond the physical victims themselves and endures long after the headlines have moved on.
“Through their enduring hurt and fear, the Tree of Life community has cultivated a sense of strength and hope, which they have channeled into a resolve to combat targeted violence and eradicate hate. I felt this first-hand when I had the honor of meeting with survivors of the attack last month, and I have been inspired every day since by their stories, by the tightknit interfaith community that supported them, and by their faith – in each other, in God, and in their fellow Americans.
“The Department of Homeland Security is incredibly proud to share their mission of building a country free of anti-Semitic and hate-fueled violence. As rates of anti-Semitic hate crimes continue to rise year-over-year in America, and in the current heightened global threat environment following the horrific terrorist attacks against Israel on October 7, we have, and will continue to, work closely with community leaders and local law enforcement agencies to safeguard against all forms of hate-fueled violence, implement the Biden-Harris Administration’s first-ever Strategy to Combat Anti-Semitism, and disseminate Departmental resources, including hundreds of millions of dollars in security grant funding and our Protecting Places of Worship guide.
“My heart is with those members of the Tree of Life community, the Pittsburgh community, and the Jewish community who are grieving today. The resolve of our Department is with all those who are committed to honoring the victims of hate, defeating the forces of fear, and building a more tolerant, secure future for all.”