Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at two ceremonies in New York City today, then returned to Washington, D.C. where he hosted a ceremony at DHS headquarters.
This morning, the Acting Secretary honored Master Special Officer Craig J. Miller of the U.S. Secret Service with special recognition by placing an American flag by his name on the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Miller’s life was taken in the attacks while heroically trying to rescue victims.
The Acting Secretary then attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony in Memorial Plaza, along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and former New York City Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. The Acting Secretary and fellow leaders observed the reading of the names of victims, which paused for moments of silence when the airplanes crashed and towers fell at the same times on this day 18 years ago.
Afterwards, Acting Secretary McAleenan attended the New York City Fire Department’s (FDNY) September 11 Remembrance Ceremony at the FDNY headquarters, hearing remarks from FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro and laying a wreath to pay respects to the brave members of the FDNY who died while trying to save lives during the attacks and the many more who passed in the years since due to their selfless response.
This evening, Acting Secretary McAleenan returned to Washington to host a candlelight vigil at DHS headquarters where he addressed DHS component heads and personnel, saying, “By the men and women we honor today we are reminded that our Department was born as a result of this act of terrorism. It is our origin story… This year and every year we have an opportunity to harken back to our founding moment and renew our commitment and vigilance in safe guarding the American people.”
September 11, 2001 was the deadliest terror attack ever on American soil. Thousands of citizens from all walks of life died that day and the end of watch came for 72 officers, the deadliest day in law enforcement history. DHS was born as a result and, for nearly two decades, the men and women of DHS have been working to prevent and respond to disasters, both man-made and natural, and protect the homeland from threats originating abroad, at home, and in cyber space.