- AD | 05.17.2007 | 05:59:4712280 | Our great challenge as citizens is to prepare and protect our homeland from terrorist attack and crisis, while maintaining our economic and cultural vitality, and protecting our personal freedoms and liberties. This requires the time, commitment and energy of every elected leader, citizen and organization in every community if freedom and opportunity are to be preserved for this and future generations.
The demand on communities, agencies, responders, and businesses to be prepared and respond is enormous, because in today's world the threat is around us daily. It is not possible for governments to defend all people in all places all the time. A truly secure America requires that citizens and communities develop plans and practices that prepare them for the first 72 hours of a national or large scale crisis, when community survival will depend upon the citizens and their community assets to respond until reinforcements arrive.
The National Congress for Secure Communities is an opportunity for leaders from all sectors and communities to come together, share ideas and best practices that can forge public/private partnerships to help each other become more prepared and able to respond to threat and crisis. Using the National Blueprint for Secure Communities as a central asset to store and share these ideas, we can help increase America's domestic preparedness by strengthening the bonds that have historically made our communities the foundation of our nation.
I hope you will join us thorugh the ReadyCommunities Partnership to help plan and conduct the National Congress on Secure Communities and its companion Symposia series, and I look forward to working with you.
Hon. Asa Hutchinson Honorary Chairman