The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks Saturday with an outdoor ceremony at the agency’s headquarters.
Current and former agency officials were among those who attended the event to hear keynote remarks provided by former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Michael P. Jackson, who was the Deputy Secretary of Transportation on September 11, 2001. Inspirational video messages were provided by former President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Created in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, TSA was established by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by the 107th Congress and signed into law by President Bush on November 19, 2001, with the mission to protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce.
“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, our country came together in a spirit of unity and common dedication to protect the freedoms we hold dear. In the same spirit, we are here now united in memory and together in mission,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “We remember the victims and the survivors and their stories. They remind us why we work tirelessly every day and they are the reason we come together annually on this day to reflect on our mission and recommit ourselves to preventing a terrorist attack on America’s transportation systems.”
Twenty years later, TSA’s security procedures have evolved into a sophisticated intelligence-driven, multi-layered, risk-based operation. By working closely with our public and private sector partners and the traveling public, TSA has set the standard for excellence in transportation security. Since 9/11, TSA has implemented a robust series of security procedures, developed a well-trained workforce, and employed state-of-the-art technologies to screen passengers, baggage, and cargo. The agency continually evaluates its existing security measures to address evolving threats.
TSA’s risk-based security practices allow expedited screening for known and trusted travelers at security checkpoints while focusing resources on high-risk and unknown passengers. Nearly one million passengers experience some form of expedited screening on a daily basis, including members of TSA PreCheck.
TSA oversees security operations at approximately 430 domestic airports and deploys Federal Air Marshals, while also providing structured oversight of surface transportation systems including pipeline, highway and motor carrier, mass transit, passenger rail, and freight rail. TSA ensures all modes of transportation are in compliance with evolving security requirements and carries out a broad range of domestic and international statutory, regulatory, and program security requirements. They also perform inspections and assessments around the world to ensure compliance with security regulations and programs.