Seven Years After Attack, More Progress Needed to Strengthen Homeland Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, released the following statement on progress towards strengthening our homeland security seven years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

"Tomorrow we will commemorate the seventh anniversary of the most devastating attack on our country since Pearl Harbor. On this solemn day, we remember the victims and their families, and we also honor the heroism of the fire fighters, police officers, emergency workers and everyday Americans who rushed to help those caught in the almost unimaginable violence on that day.  


"The attack has left an indelible mark on our nation.  The two planes that were crashed into the World Trade Center towers took off from Boston's Logan Airport on that clear Tuesday morning.  They carried  148 passengers and crew members, so the catastrophe in Manhattan also touched families throughout Massachusetts.


"Seven years after the attack, we remember the perseverance and strength of the family members of victims who pushed for the creation of the 9/11 Commission, so our country could uncover the mistakes and missed opportunities that led to the devastating attack. Without their efforts, the 9/11 Commission never would have been established.


"It was one year ago last month that President Bush signed into law legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The Democratic Congress made passage of these recommendations a top priority, and the bill to implement them was the first to pass under the new majority in January 2007.


"Now that the bill has been signed into law, we need determination and increased focus to ensure that the law is implemented effectively and in a manner consistent with the intent of Congress. This is particularly important when it comes to the law's requirement to screen, within three years, all the cargo carried on passenger planes to a level of security commensurate with the level of security applied to passengers' checked bags.  I inserted this provision in the 9/11 law, and I continue to closely monitor the Department of Homeland Security's progress in this area.


"We will never forget the heroism of the Americans affected by the September 11th attacks. Over the past seven years, there has been progress towards strengthening our homeland security, but there is still much more work to be done. Tomorrow's anniversary is a time for reflection and remembrance. On this painful day, it is my hope that the families of the victims will find some measure of comfort as our country pauses to honor the memories of Americans who lost their lives on that fateful day."

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For more information: The House Committees on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs released a report this week examining the Bush administration's implementation of H.R. 1, the "Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007."  The report can be found here.



September 10, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836