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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.

 

author avatar
Kristina Tanasichuk
From terrorism to the homeland security business enterprise, for over 20 years Kristina Tanasichuk has devoted her career to educating and informing the homeland community to build avenues for collaboration, information sharing, and resilience. She has worked in homeland security since 2002 and has founded and grown some of the most renowned organizations in the field. Prior to homeland she worked on critical infrastructure for Congress and for municipal governments in the energy sector and public works. She has 25 years of lobbying and advocacy experience on Capitol Hill on behalf of non- profit associations, government clients, and coalitions. In 2011, she founded the Government & Services Technology Coalition, a non-profit member organization devoted to the missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and all the homeland disciplines. GTSC focuses on developing and nurturing innovative small and mid-sized companies (up to $1 billion) working with the Federal government. GTSC’s mission is to increase collaboration, information exchange, and constructive problem solving around the most challenging homeland security issues facing the nation. She acquired Homeland Security Today (www.HSToday.us) in 2017 and has since grown readership to over one million hits per month and launched and expanded a webinar program to law enforcement across the US, Canada, and international partners. Tanasichuk is also the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security, a professional development organization for women in the field of homeland security. As a first generation Ukrainian, she was thrilled to join the Advisory Board of LABUkraine in 2017. The non-profit initiative builds computer labs for orphanages in Ukraine and in 2018 built the first computer lab near Lviv, Ukraine. At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she worked with the organization to pivot and raise money for Ukrainian troop and civilian needs. She made several trips to Krakow, Poland to bring vital supplies like tourniquets and water filters to the front lines, and has since continued fundraising and purchasing drones, communications equipment, and vehicles for the war effort. Most recently she was named as the Lead Advisor to the First US-Ukraine Freedom Summit, a three-day conference and fundraiser to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of Ukrainian war veterans through sports and connection with U.S. veterans. She served as President and Executive Vice President on the Board of Directors for the InfraGard Nations Capital chapter, a public private partnership with the FBI to protect America’s critical infrastructure for over 8 years. Additionally, she served on the U.S. Coast Guard Board of Mutual Assistance and as a trustee for the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation. She graduated from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Citizens’ Academies, in addition to the Marine Corps Executive Forum. Prior to founding the Government Technology & Services Coalition she was Vice President of the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council (HSDBC), an organization for the largest corporations in the Federal homeland security market. She was responsible for thought leadership and programs, strategic partnerships, internal and external communications, marketing and public affairs. She managed the Council’s Executive Brief Series and strategic alliances, as well as the organization’s Thought Leadership Committee and Board of Advisors. Prior to this, she also founded and served for two years as executive director of the American Security Challenge, an event that awarded monetary and contractual awards in excess of $3.5 million to emerging security technology firms. She was also the event director for the largest homeland security conference and exposition in the country where she created and managed three Boards of Advisors representing physical and IT security, first responders, Federal, State and local law enforcement, and public health. She crafted the conference curriculum, evolved their government relations strategy, established all of the strategic partnerships, and managed communications and media relations. Tanasichuk began her career in homeland security shortly after September 11, 2001 while at the American Public Works Association. Her responsibilities built on her deep understanding of critical infrastructure issues and included homeland security and emergency management issues before Congress and the Administration on first responder issues, water, transportation, utility and public building security. Prior to that she worked on electric utility deregulation and domestic energy issues representing municipal governments and as professional staff for the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Tanasichuk has also worked at the American Enterprise Institute, several Washington, D.C. associations representing both the public and private sectors, and the White House under President George H.W. Bush. Tanasichuk also speaks extensively representing small and mid-sized companies and discussing innovation and work in the Federal market at the IEEE Homeland Security Conference, AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference and Homeland Security Course, ProCM.org, and the Security Industry Association’s ISC East and ACT-IAC small business committee. She has also been featured in CEO Magazine and in MorganFranklin’s www.VoicesonValue.com campaign. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University. She was honored by the mid-Atlantic INLETS Law Enforcement Training Board with the “Above and Beyond” award in both 2019 – for her support to the homeland security and first responder community for furthering public private partnerships, creating information sharing outlets, and facilitating platforms for strengthening communities – and 2024 – for her work supporting Ukraine in their defense against the Russian invasion. In 2016 she was selected as AFCEA International’s Industry Small Business Person of the Year, in 2015 received the U.S. Treasury, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization Excellence in Partnership award for “Moving Treasury’s Small Business Program Forward,” as a National Association of Woman Owned Businesses Distinguished Woman of the Year Finalist, nominated for “Friend of the Entrepreneur” by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Military Spouse of the Year by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2011, and for a Heroines of Washington DC award in 2014. She is fluent in Ukrainian.
Kristina Tanasichuk
Kristina Tanasichuk
From terrorism to the homeland security business enterprise, for over 20 years Kristina Tanasichuk has devoted her career to educating and informing the homeland community to build avenues for collaboration, information sharing, and resilience. She has worked in homeland security since 2002 and has founded and grown some of the most renowned organizations in the field. Prior to homeland she worked on critical infrastructure for Congress and for municipal governments in the energy sector and public works. She has 25 years of lobbying and advocacy experience on Capitol Hill on behalf of non- profit associations, government clients, and coalitions. In 2011, she founded the Government & Services Technology Coalition, a non-profit member organization devoted to the missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and all the homeland disciplines. GTSC focuses on developing and nurturing innovative small and mid-sized companies (up to $1 billion) working with the Federal government. GTSC’s mission is to increase collaboration, information exchange, and constructive problem solving around the most challenging homeland security issues facing the nation. She acquired Homeland Security Today (www.HSToday.us) in 2017 and has since grown readership to over one million hits per month and launched and expanded a webinar program to law enforcement across the US, Canada, and international partners. Tanasichuk is also the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security, a professional development organization for women in the field of homeland security. As a first generation Ukrainian, she was thrilled to join the Advisory Board of LABUkraine in 2017. The non-profit initiative builds computer labs for orphanages in Ukraine and in 2018 built the first computer lab near Lviv, Ukraine. At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she worked with the organization to pivot and raise money for Ukrainian troop and civilian needs. She made several trips to Krakow, Poland to bring vital supplies like tourniquets and water filters to the front lines, and has since continued fundraising and purchasing drones, communications equipment, and vehicles for the war effort. Most recently she was named as the Lead Advisor to the First US-Ukraine Freedom Summit, a three-day conference and fundraiser to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of Ukrainian war veterans through sports and connection with U.S. veterans. She served as President and Executive Vice President on the Board of Directors for the InfraGard Nations Capital chapter, a public private partnership with the FBI to protect America’s critical infrastructure for over 8 years. Additionally, she served on the U.S. Coast Guard Board of Mutual Assistance and as a trustee for the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation. She graduated from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Citizens’ Academies, in addition to the Marine Corps Executive Forum. Prior to founding the Government Technology & Services Coalition she was Vice President of the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council (HSDBC), an organization for the largest corporations in the Federal homeland security market. She was responsible for thought leadership and programs, strategic partnerships, internal and external communications, marketing and public affairs. She managed the Council’s Executive Brief Series and strategic alliances, as well as the organization’s Thought Leadership Committee and Board of Advisors. Prior to this, she also founded and served for two years as executive director of the American Security Challenge, an event that awarded monetary and contractual awards in excess of $3.5 million to emerging security technology firms. She was also the event director for the largest homeland security conference and exposition in the country where she created and managed three Boards of Advisors representing physical and IT security, first responders, Federal, State and local law enforcement, and public health. She crafted the conference curriculum, evolved their government relations strategy, established all of the strategic partnerships, and managed communications and media relations. Tanasichuk began her career in homeland security shortly after September 11, 2001 while at the American Public Works Association. Her responsibilities built on her deep understanding of critical infrastructure issues and included homeland security and emergency management issues before Congress and the Administration on first responder issues, water, transportation, utility and public building security. Prior to that she worked on electric utility deregulation and domestic energy issues representing municipal governments and as professional staff for the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Tanasichuk has also worked at the American Enterprise Institute, several Washington, D.C. associations representing both the public and private sectors, and the White House under President George H.W. Bush. Tanasichuk also speaks extensively representing small and mid-sized companies and discussing innovation and work in the Federal market at the IEEE Homeland Security Conference, AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference and Homeland Security Course, ProCM.org, and the Security Industry Association’s ISC East and ACT-IAC small business committee. She has also been featured in CEO Magazine and in MorganFranklin’s www.VoicesonValue.com campaign. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University. She was honored by the mid-Atlantic INLETS Law Enforcement Training Board with the “Above and Beyond” award in both 2019 – for her support to the homeland security and first responder community for furthering public private partnerships, creating information sharing outlets, and facilitating platforms for strengthening communities – and 2024 – for her work supporting Ukraine in their defense against the Russian invasion. In 2016 she was selected as AFCEA International’s Industry Small Business Person of the Year, in 2015 received the U.S. Treasury, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization Excellence in Partnership award for “Moving Treasury’s Small Business Program Forward,” as a National Association of Woman Owned Businesses Distinguished Woman of the Year Finalist, nominated for “Friend of the Entrepreneur” by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Military Spouse of the Year by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2011, and for a Heroines of Washington DC award in 2014. She is fluent in Ukrainian.

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