The world before

There weren’t huge security lines and barriers at every airport

You didn’t have to disrobe and be searched and xrayed to board a plane

You could follow your loved one to the gate to say good bye, and greet them in their return
There weren’t giant concrete urns and “jersey barriers” surrounding all federal buildings, monuments and attractions. Not littering the streets and side walks.

You could go to a large public gathering like NYE or a concert and not think about an exit plan if it was attacked
Police at train stations and airports weren’t armed to the teeth. No bomb sniffing dogs at all transportation hubs or large events like football games

If they searched your bag before entering a ball game, they were looking for alcohol, not bombs or other weapons
You didn’t have a generation of young men, and sometimes young women, missing limbs and with head injuries or terrible burns.

No body ever talked about PTSD. Maybe they should have, but less people had it.
You didn’t have a generation of young people, grieving for their friends who died in war

September meant cooler weather and the start of the school year. A time ripe with possibilities
September meant the beginning of things. Not the end of things.

Every September, every single day, is different now.

My children will never know that world.

The world before terrorism
All the things we lost, all the visual reminders of the scars of terrorism, will never compare to the loss of the people

The civilians, and law enforcement and firefighters and soldiers. The ordinary people who lived, and worked and were suddenly tasked with fighting terror
The cars left abandoned at train stations from that morning 18 years ago. The flyers on every wall or light post searching for missing loved ones. The grave markers of young people in our cemeteries.

Ordinary people are the targets of terror, and are tasked with fighting terror
Ordinary people are the targets, do the fighting and do the dying to resist terror.

We have the right, the obligation, to demand our government remain accountable to us. That our lives matter.

The primary function of any government is to keep its people safe
We have the right to know who is within our boarders, and expel them if necessary.

We have a right to say who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen, and share this obligation with us.

And we have the duty to demand our government not take our sacrifices lightly
I highly recommend this article by Colonel Dave Grossman, on the story of the sheepdog…
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