Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano hosted the first U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Portrait Unveiling Ceremony in honor of Governor Tom Ridge—our nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security.
“Governor Ridge has devoted his career to serving his country and the American people, and created the foundation for the Department of Homeland Security just ten years ago,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I want to thank him on behalf of all the men and women of DHS and a grateful nation – for his contribution to this Department and selfless service.”
Ten years ago, under the leadership of Governor Ridge, DHS began operations, unifying 22 separate components under a single department with a common mission: to safeguard America and integrate our Nation’s capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats and disasters of all kinds.
"My thanks to the artist Robert Anderson for his fine work," said Governor Ridge. "I hope that years from now, when people pass this portrait in the hall, they will remember not one man, but a historic starting point – a time when the people of DHS pledged their all to protect the country, and fulfilled that mission with distinction and determination – just as they still do today."
A decade after its creation, DHS has united work of hundreds of thousands of dedicated and skilled professionals to create a safer and more secure homeland, and continue to protect our country against ever-changing threats.