Operationalizing #NeverForget: United We Stand, Divided We Fall


“United we stand, Divided we fall.”

–John Dickinson’s “Liberty Song”

September 11, 2020

To our HSToday readers,

The anniversary of September 11, 2001 is a solemn one for our nation. On that day nearly 20 years ago, our nation changed forever. Our hearts go out to the people who lost loved ones; the first responder families who lost, and continue to lose, their loved ones; and to our nation that lost our sense of security and innocence that fateful day.

For months after September 11th, America was united. We lost 2,605 U.S. citizens, including 2,135 civilians, and an additional 372 non-U.S. citizens. Of the total, 412 were emergency workers in New York City who responded to attack. All races and nationalities were impacted.

As a nation, we came together to cope with the loss, identify the perpetrators, and try to understand why. We swore to “Never Forget.”

Nearly 20 years later many seem to have forgotten.

Agitators on both sides blame OUR nation for the consequences of terrorist actions.

They blame TSA for taking their water or asking them to remove their shoes when the blame lies with actors like Tanvir Hussain, a terrorist who was drilling holes into the bottom of a 500ml drink bottle, removing some liquid and adding liquid explosive powerful enough to blow a hole in a plane. His plan was to explode seven transatlantic airliners.

And with Richard Reid, who on December 22, 2001, boarded American Airlines Flight 63 between Paris and Miami, wearing shoes packed with explosives with the intent to kill the 197 passengers and crew.

They blame Border Patrol for remaining steadfastly vigilant against human traffickers, drug smugglers, and terrorists when they should blame people like Saifullah Al-Mamun aka Saiful Al-Mamun, indicted for operating a human smuggling ring throughout Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.

And Gilberto Alicea, 31, of Bani, Dominican Republic who along with a co-conspirator Jerri Martinez-Tejeda managed a drug trafficking operation bringing heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl to the U.S.

Or Muhammad Azeem and Mukhtar Ahmad, Pakistani nationals identified on U.S. terrorism watch lists, who were apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents just north of Tijuana after the pair had traveled from their home in Gujrat, Pakistan, through Latin America.

They blame ICE for working tirelessly to find and deport criminals and terrorists already in the country illegally, when they should blame terrorist Amir Abdelghani, 59, sentenced to 30 years in prison for his part in the conspiracy headed by the Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman to target the United Nations, FBI offices and other New York City landmarks.

Or blame human smuggler Stefania Joaquina Campos Rezende, a 39-year-old citizen of Brazil, convicted of international human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, found and deported to face charges in her native country.

And don’t forget Elvis Antonio Velasquez-Molina, 29, from El Salvador, arrested by ICE officers May 23 near Staten Island, New York after a warrant for his arrest was discovered during a records check.

Each of these criminals has caused and contributed to human suffering, exploitation, and death.

 

As we reflect on the impacts of September 11th on our present and future, we at Homeland Security Today urge you to operationalize the pledge to never forget:

  • To recognize the evolving and changing nature of the threats to our people and way of life, and to work to be part of the solution.
  • To work to solve problems instead of creating more victims.
  • To unite as Americans against those who wish to harm us.

And, perhaps most importantly, to recognize that the consequences of just one successful attack are more than we are willing to tolerate.

 

#Never Forget

Yours in service,

Kristina

Kristina Tanasichuk
Executive Editor
Homeland Security Today

REGISTER FOR HEALTH BENEFITS

If you are a first responder or other worker that responded to the attacks on our nation, take a moment to register for your health benefits if you have not already.

Learn more by watching this short video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAKE A DONATION OF $5, $10 OR $25

If you are not a first responder or other worker that responded to the attacks on our nation, but would like to make a donation to the causes our community cares about, we urge you to visit our Homeland Security Charity page and make a donation today. All of our charities were submitted by HSToday readers and reflect immediate and on-going support of this heroic community.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE to go to our Charity page.

 

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Kristina Tanasichuk is Executive Editor of Homeland Security Today and CEO of the Government Technology & Services Coalition. She founded GTSC to advance communication and collaboration between the public and private sector in defense of our homeland.  A leader in homeland security public private partnership, critical infrastructure protection, cyber security, STEM, innovation, commercialization and much more, she brings to HSToday decades of experience and expertise in the intersection of the public and private sectors in support of our homeland's security. Tanasichuk worked for Chairman Tom Bliley on electric utility restructuring for the House Commerce Committee, represented municipal electric utilities sorting out deregulation, the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. and ran the largest homeland security conference and trade show in the country. Immediately after 9/11 she represented public works departments In homeland security and emergency management. She is also the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security and served as president of InfraGard of the National Capital Region, a member of the Fairfax County Law Enforcement Foundation, the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation and on the Board of USCG Mutual Assistance. She has an MPA from George Mason University and has attended the FBI and DEA Citizens Academies and the Marine Corps Executive Leadership Program. Most recently she was awarded the "Above & Beyond Award" by the Intelligence & Law Enforcement Training Seminar (INLETS) and was awarded Small Business Person of the Year by AFCEA International. Tanasichuk brings a new vision and in-depth knowledge of the federal homeland and national security apparatus to the media platform.

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