As we reflect on the 20-year anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11, we will never forget the grief and loss. We honor those lost and the many who gave their lives to save others.
But we are also reminded of the spirit of collaboration and rebuilding that followed. In particular, we think back to the founding of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the work accomplished, working across party, political, and ideological lines, to build programs and partnerships to defend against the terrorism threat.
Over the last 20 years, our country has come a long way with these programs and partnerships, but the work isn’t done.
The nature of the threats that we face today has transformed and grown beyond what we traditionally thought of as terrorism, to include cyber threats, domestic violent extremism, and nation-state aggression. The threats emanate from traditional and new sources, both internal and external to our country, they may be slow to build, rather than sudden attacks, and hidden in plain sight.
The complexity and persistence of the current threat environment are daunting. There is hope, however. Our nation’s homeland security community is stronger than before. We have learned so much in the last two decades and grown and evolved as the mission required. We will meet the challenges ahead by continuing to prioritize diversity in our teams leading to more innovative solutions.
Undoubtedly, new threats will emerge in the coming months and years. As they do, more than ever, we will need to partner in a bipartisan, collaborative way across government, industry, and academia to fulfill our always-evolving homeland security mission.