Remembering 9/11 and Anthrax

Public Health's Vital Role in National Defense

Remembering 9/11 and Anthrax: Public Health’s Vital Role in National Defense, released by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), features more than 30 firsthand accounts of public health professionals who were directly involved in the response to the September 11, 2001, and anthrax tragedies.

In that year, the nation experienced the unimaginable. In 2011, we know we need to expect the unexpected.

Over the past decade, we learned a lot of hard lessons about what it means to be adequately prepared for diseases, disasters and bioterrorism. We’ve made smart, strategic investments, and there’s been a lot of progress to show for it.

There is a lot left to be done, which will require further effort and investment. But, regardless, the field of
public health preparedness was forever changed 10 years ago, and we should never forget why. The top lesson we learn and relearn in each tragedy and emergency is that being prepared means we must sustain enough resources and vigilance so we can prevent what we can and respond when we have to.