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As I was installing a fire alarm system in a hospital standing on a ladder I noticed that a crowd had gathered around a television set in the lobby. They were watching terrorist attack on the World Twain Towers. At that, moment as did I our Nation learned a painful lesson on September 11, 2001 when members of the Al-Qaeda hijacked three commercial airplanes. Two planes plunged through the World Trade Center, leaving nothing but the remains of the collapsed towers, killing thousands of innocent people. The third plane plunged through the Pentagon killing more innocent people. In addition, the last crashed 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Al- Qaeda is a well- knows global terrorist network that originated in Islam and led by the man named Osama bin Laden. (Korb, 2003) These terrorist attacks 11 years ago.
American soil is not immune to evil or cold- blooded enemies capable of unprecedented acts of mass murder and terror. New wave of terrorism, involves new weapons, loom in Americaâs future. It is a challenge unlike any ever faced by our Nation. Nevertheless, we are not daunted. We possess the resources and the determination to defeat our enemies and work to secure our homeland against the threats they pose. (Franke, 2005)
Just as our parents and grandparents remember, where they were and what they were doing when President John F. Kennedy shot, so will it be with this generation when asked the same questions pertaining to September 11, 2001. This horrific event will be a scar on the body of our wonderful Nation until the end of time. Parents lost children, children lost parents, and spouses lost their heart mates. Therefore, mush anguish and emotional devastation demands that something done to prevent tragedy like this from occurring in the future.
This is why on October 8, 2001, President George W. Bush gave an executive order stated as follows: the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America hereby orders it ordered as follows: section 1. Establishment, I hereby establish within the Executive Office of the President an Office of Homeland Security (the Office) to head the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. (Relyea, 2003) The first director of the Office of Homeland Security is a Pennsylvanian Republican, Governor Tom Ridge. On November 25, the President George W. Bush signed the bill creating a new Department of Homeland Security. ((n.d.), Becoming a Homeland Security Professional, 2007). On January 20, 2009, the Senate confirmed Barack Obama’s appointment of Janet Napolitano to be the third Secretary of Homeland Security. To assure a smooth transition however, Michael Chertoff was asked not to resign until the morning of January 21, 2009.
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the most significant transformation of the U.S. government since 1947; when President Harry S. Truman merged; the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces into the Department of Defense better coordinate the nationâs defense against military threats. ((n.d.), United States 107th Congress Web Archive Collection, 2002). Organizing the leadership President Bush chose Governor Tom Ridge as Secretary for DHS, Gordon England as Deputy Secretary. Asa Hutchinson became Secretary for Border and Transportation Security, and Janet Hale, under Secretary for Management. Michael Brown as Under Secretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response, Eduardo Aguirre Jr., as Acting Director of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Dr. Charles E. McQueary as Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Clark Kent Ervin as Inspector General, Robert C. Bonner as Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Joe D. Whitley as General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. President Bush was in office. ((n.d.), United States 107th Congress Web Archive Collection, 2002). The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters. In FY 2010, it was allocated a budget of $42.7 billion and spent, net, $56.4 billion.
DHS represents a similar consolidation, both in style and substance. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks against America on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush decided 22 previously disparate domestic agencies needed to be coordinated into one department to protect the nation against threats to the homeland. The agencies slated to become part of the Department of Homeland Security will be housed in one of four major directorates, Border and Transportation Security, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Science and Technology, and Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, Management, Coast Guard, Secret Service, Citizenship and Immigration Services. ((n.d.), Iraq War,2003 Web Archive Collection, 2003).
The new departments first priority is to protect the nation against further terrorist attacks. Component agencies will analyze threats and intelligence, guard our borders and airport, protect our critical infrastructure, and coordinate the response of our nation for future emergencies. Besides providing a better-coordinated defense of the homeland, DHS is also dedicated to protecting the rights of American citizens and enhancing public services, such as natural disaster assistance and citizenship services, by dedicating offices to these important missions. (Relyea, 2003).
The many men and women who daily protect our borders and secure our country are committed to the safety of our homeland. The new Department will help them do their jobs better with increased communication, coordination and resources. Specifically, the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will have three primary missions. Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce Americas vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters. ((n.d.), Becoming a Homeland Security Professional, 2007)
In order to accomplish these three goals the new Department will focus on creating the new capabilities discussed in the July 2002 National Strategy for Homeland Security. The strategy points out that today no one single government agency has homeland security as its primary mission. In fact, responsibilities for homeland security are dispersed among more than 100 different government organizations. America needs a single, unified homeland security structure that will improve protection against todayâs threats and be flexible enough to help meet the unknown threats of the future. (Relyea, 2003).
The new Department of Homeland Security, will transform and realign the current confusing patchwork of government activities into a single department. DHS will give state and local officials one primary contact instead of many, an important advantage when it comes to matters related to training, equipment, planning, exercises and other critical homeland security needs. It will manage federal grant porgrams for enhancing the preparedness of firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel. DHS will also set standards for state and local preparedness activities and equipment. (Relyea, 2003)
The would has changed sincs September 11, 2001. We remain a nation at risk to terrorist attacks and will remain at risk for the foreseeable future. At all Threat Condition, we must remain vigilant, prepared, and ready to deter terrorist attacks. The following Threat Conditions each represent an increasing risk of terrorist attacks. Beneath each Threat Condition are some suggested Low Protective Measures, recognizing that the heads of Federal departments and agencies are responsible for developing and implementing appropriate agency-specific Protective Measures. (Relyea, 2003)
Todays terrorist can strike at any place, at any time,and with a wide variety of weapons. The most urgent terrorist threat to America is the Al Qaeda network. Our Nation will prosecute our war with these terrorists until they are routed from the Earth. But we can not let our guard down after we defeat Al Qaeda. The terrorist threat to America takes many forms, has many places to hide, and is often invisible. (Korb, 2003) Our Nation made the mistake of not worrying about terrorism enough in the past. We can never be sure that we have defeated all of our terrorist enemies, and therefore we can never again allow ourselves to become overconfident about the security of our homeland. Now America needs to learn from that mistake on 9/11 and look towards the future. Dissent is at the core of Americanism. It is how we became a country in the 1770s. It is what distinguishes us from many other countries. I call it freedom. I love our freedom, and can worship an almighty God anyway I choose to. I hold freedom dear to me, With liberty and justice for allâ is what we say every time we Pledge Allegiance to the flag, which also means to our ideals. It is a way of renewing our vows.
For the past 15 years as I have work as a Technician specializing in high security systems,CCTV, Voice and Data,and Fiber Optic for airport,hospital,and commercial buildings. The terrorist attack that killed those who worked in both towers of the World Twain Towers,The heroes who went down in Pittsburgh,and military and non military personnel in the Pentagon. I will never forget the hundreds of rescue workers including fire fighters, and police officers were killed, in their brave attempt to rescue people from the burning buildings on 9/11. It caused me to give serious thought to how I could use my particular set of skills in the protection of our Country. That is why I decided to dursue a career in Homeland Security.
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