Napolitano Commemorates 15th Anniversary of Oklahoma City Bombing

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janet napolitanoDepartment of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday visited Oklahoma to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and delivered remarks about the department’s efforts to protect against evolving threats of terrorism.

Honoring the 168 people who lost their lives in what she called “an unspeakable act of terrorism,” Napolitano gave her speech in Oklahoma City to pay tribute not only to the victims but their families and friends, as well as first responders who risked their lives by entering the Murrah Building.

“We honor the continued need for vigilance against the hateful ideologies that led to this attack, so that we can recognize their signs in our communities and stand together to defeat them,” Napolitano said. “Above all, we remind ourselves that what defines us as a nation, as a people, and as communities, is not that we’ve suffered, but how we’ve risen above it—how we’ve overcome.”

Speaking about the latest progress her department has done, Napolitano brought up how the  DHS-led Interagency Security Committee recently announced new security standards for all federal buildings and facilities. However, “making preparedness part of our culture will ultimately draw on the innovation and civic spirit of the American people,” Napolitano added.

“Terrorism is a tactic designed not just to kill, but to make us feel powerless,” she said. “But we are never powerless. We control the way we prepare ourselves, the way we anticipate and combat the threats, and the way we respond if something does happen.”

The secretary also toured the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum and met with state and local first responders to talk about the importance of close coordination among all levels of government to support frontline emergency response and management efforts. Later on, she participated in a panel discussion about the media’s role in informing the public about terrorism and highlighted how media coverage of terrorist acts has continually transformed since she helped lead the domestic terrorism investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing as U.S. attorney for Arizona.

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