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All of us who are old enough remember exactly where we were on Sept. 11, 2001, at the moment we first learned that terrorists had taken control of commercial jetliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center in Manhattan, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pa.
On that day, our lives, our country, and our world fundamentally changed.
Today, a decade later, we remember the loss of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the attacks, honor the firefighters, police, and many other first responders, who showed such courage and conviction on that tragic day, and take stock of the fundamental changes that have reshaped our country and improved security for all Americans.
While there are no guarantees — and there never will be — we have accomplished much to minimize the risk that a successful terror attack like 9/11 will ever occur on American soil.
Ten years ago, our intelligence and law enforcement communities were aware of potential threats to the homeland from terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda, but we lacked the focus necessary to anticipate and prevent the attack.
Sharing essential information to confront this threat was impeded by long-standing cultural, legal and institutional barriers, stove-piped government organizations, and a lack of coordination and cooperation.
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