Let’s face it – everything changed after 9/11: travel, communication, and, certainly, the profession of law enforcement. Here we are, 20 years later, and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the National Law Enforcement Museum wish to honor the 72 law enforcement officers who lost their lives that fateful day , as well as 300 others who succumbed to illnesses from working at Ground Zero.
The devastating events of 9/11 have impacted us all, but exponentially more so for members of law enforcement. We will never forget the sacrifices, the selflessness, and the bravery of these incredible men and women.
On August 27, the National Law Enforcement Museum debuted its first-ever major curated exhibition, “Post-9/11: The Evolution of American Law Enforcement.” The subject matter is an emotional one, especially in light of the 20th anniversary of the attacks. This exhibition not only honors our fallen heroes but it also illustrates how law enforcement has met the challenge of a post-9/11 world, making incredible strides to protect the U.S. homeland and its citizens from harm.
In response to international terrorism threats, law enforcement has evolved in the areas of intelligence collection and analysis, interagency partnerships and information sharing, technology and innovation, training and preparation, and community engagement. From government agencies to state and local police departments, to the private sector – law enforcement has found that sharing this information has helped avoid future attacks.
Our museum opened its doors in 2018 with the express purpose of telling and honoring the story of American law enforcement. In fact, storytelling is what makes the National Law Enforcement Museum so magnificent. When artifacts, combined with expert research – and the curiosity of countless visitors – come together, it provides an opportunity for enlightenment, education, and, at times, a life-changing event. Through the stories we tell, we honor our own past, our daily lives, and our hopes for the future.