When you think about Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR), you probably think about all of the things in the U.S. that are essential to our national security, economic vitality, public health and safety, and our way of life.
Assets like energy grids, banking and finance systems and transportation networks, for example, likely quickly come to mind. Much of this infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and today in New York City Secretary Napolitano met with leaders from a variety of industries to discuss her dedication to continuing to work with private sector partners to ensure the security of our nation’s CIKR.
But CIKR encompasses a diverse range of 18 unique sectors that touch the lives of the American people every day, and in different ways. And while communications systems, for example, are certainly a sector of CIKR, so too are some assets that probably don’t immediately leap to mind.
National monuments and icons could be an example. This diverse array of sites and landmarks that represent our nation’s core principals, tradition and heritage may not get you to work or turn on your lights, but they represent the foundation upon which our country was built. An incident at these historic resources could not just mean the potential loss of life or property, but also the loss of the symbols that represent our country’s values.
The Department of Homeland Security works with our federal, state local and private sector partners to protect our monument and icon CIKR from either manmade or natural disasters, while still ensuring open and free access.
More than 1.3 million people visit our national monuments and icons each day. In Philadelphia – our Nation’s first seat of federal government and home to numerous historic sites – more than 2 million visitors swung by the Liberty Bell Center in 2008, while Independence Hall reported more than 700,000 guests.
Check out this video to learn more about how DHS is partnering with local officials in Philadelphia to ensure that our national monument and icon critical infrastructure is protected.