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Marking the 8th Anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security

In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security came into existence. Secretary Janet Napolitano observes the anniversary of that occasion, and discusses the continuing mission of DHS.

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security. As I said in my “State of America’s Homeland Security” address in January, our nation is more secure than it was two years ago, and more secure than when DHS was founded. Nonetheless, our work never stops.

I am joining my predecessors, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, today at a public commemoration of the Department’s 8th anniversary. We’ll speak to the history and progress of the last eight years, and to the dedication and service of the more than 230,000 men and women of DHS. A live video stream of the event will be available here.

Since it was formed in 2003, DHS has achieved remarkable progress across our key missions: preventing terrorism; securing our borders; enforcing our immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring resilience to disasters.

But we know that we have more work to do to counter the evolving threats we face. We must remind ourselves that our mission – a secure homeland – requires our constant vigilance, hard work, and determination to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other threats.

As I often say, homeland security begins with hometown security. Working hand in hand with first responders, state, local, tribal and territorial governments, community groups, international partners and the private sector, we have made great strides in protecting our nation from terrorism and other threats while building a culture of resiliency and preparedness in our communities. Security is, indeed, a shared responsibility.

I invite you to watch and to learn more about how DHS is working every day to secure our nation. I look forward to the coming years, as we build on the foundation we celebrate today.

Janet Napolitano is the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.