September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Statement of Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta 7:30 p.m. (EST); September 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
7:30 p.m. (EST)
Contact: Chet Lunner
Tel.: (202) 366-4570
DOT 93-01

Statement of Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta

One of the most cherished American freedoms is the freedom of movement, the ability to move freely and safely. Today that freedom has been attacked. We will restore that freedom throughout the national transportation system as soon as possible. And we will restore the highest possible degree of safety.

These terrorist acts are designed to steal the confidence of Americans. We will restore that confidence. We have already taken some first steps. As a precaution, I have ordered the FAA to ground all commercial air traffic until at least tomorrow afternoon.

After the attacks, some of our aircraft were diverted to Canada. We owe our Canadian neighbors a debt of gratitude for helping us redirect over 120 flights and their passengers to airports in Canada.

As of 6:00 p.m., AMTRAK resumed its passenger rail service. Major railroads have taken steps to protect their assets, as well.

The United States Coast Guard is taking all necessary actions to control the movement of any vessel in any navigable water in the United States. Coast Guard helicopters have been assisting with medical and national security tasks.

We are currently looking at a wide variety of additional security measures to increase traveler security.

Travelers will see increased security measures at our airports, train stations and other key sites. There will be higher levels of surveillance, more stringent searches. Airport curbside luggage check-in will no longer be allowed. There will be more security officers, random identification checks. Travelers may experience some inconveniences. We ask for your patience. But we must do whatever it takes, with safety as our highest priority.

The Department of Transportation is working closely with the White House and appropriate federal agencies to mount a coordinated, nationwide recovery effort.

Each American must know that we will restore our national transportation system to a safe and efficient status as quickly as possible. Our system has been severely burdened by the stress of these horrendous attacks, but we will recover.

In a democracy, there is always a balance between freedom and security. Our transportation systems, reflecting the values of our society, have always operated in an open and accessible manner. And, they will again.

Please be assured that we are activating all of our resources on an emergency basis, and services will be restored as soon as possible.

U.S. Government Website

September 11 Page

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