The events of September 11th 2001, provoked an awakening of the American people and its leaders, that has not been seen since the Japanese attack on pearl harbor in 1941. The threat of terrorism, which has always existed, became real to every American at home and abroad, in a way that we had not experienced prior to September 11th. The threat of another attack is real, and most experts believe that another attack will come, and is only a matter of time. Terrorists are currently working hard to obtain chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. These radical, religiously and ideologically driven fanatics will stop at nothing to achieve their goal of western terrorism. .
In the aftermath of September 11th, on November 25th, 2002, President Bush signed the Homeland Security Act, which created the new Department of Homeland Security. This department was granted a tremendous a amount power; and with that power comes a tremendous amount of responsibility. In the early stages of its planning, it was hoped that the Department of Homeland Security would provide the needed coordination to government anti-terrorism efforts. President Bush needed a strong leader to take on the huge task of leading this new department. Tom Ridge was the man the President choose to lead this new, and somewhat experimental department. .
On January 23rd, 2003, Tom Ridge became the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The charge to the nations new director of homeland defense was to develop and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to strengthen the United States against terror threats or attacks. In the words of President Bush, "he had the strength, experience, commitment and authority to accomplish this critical mission" (http://www.dhs.gov). Some of Ridge's duties include working with 170,000 employees from combined agencies, to strengthen our boarders, provide intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, improve the use of science and technology to counter weapons of mass destruction, and to create a comprehensive response and recovery division in the event of a national disaster (http://www.