I wasn’t sure what to title this post, but it’s prompted by the terrible terrorist attack in Brussels yesterday. The fact that my husband and I are scheduled to be in Brussels in a few weeks on vacation didn’t help the “Oh, my God!” feeling the scenes from Brussels evoked.
It seems like many things in life, our vigilance/worry about today’s terrorist environment ebbs and flows. An attack, be it the World Trade Center with thousands of casualties or Brussels with many fewer, galvanizes us and makes us more diligent — for a while. Then life, at least in the U.S., goes on and we get distracted with work and family and holidays and daily life which doesn’t include being blown up by suicide bombers. And the threat of terrorism gets banished to a remote corner of our consciousness (again).
As I live in Dallas, yesterday, interspersed with television coverage from Brussels, were interviews from DFW Airport — one of the nation’s busiest airports and therefore no doubt a prime target. I also reminded myself that I live within a close radius of George W. and Laura Bush. (His neighborhood is much more posh than mine, but close by, nonetheless.) I also travel frequently to Las Vegas and regularly to European capitals as well as other major U.S. cities including Washington, D.C. My chances of being involved in a terrorist incident are greater than the average bear’s. (But hopefully not as great as my nephew who was attending a meeting on 9/11 at the World Trade Center Marriott hotel and barely escaped literally with just the clothes on his back. I worked in investor relations at the time and knew hundreds of people who didn’t make it.)
The news coming out of Brussels was bad enough, but it was certainly exacerbated by all the rhetoric coming out of our presidential candidates. I would almost the candidates say nothing than have them open their mouths and confirm the fact that they don’t have a clue on how to address the situation.
I don’t know the answer or probably even how to effect one if I did know. I have a few (what I think are good) ideas. They don’t include wholesale condemnation of a religious group or ethnic population. They do include more diligence and a more aggressive stance as well as greater participation by other countries.
But on a personal level, we have to be more individually diligent. For me, I need to relook at my priorities when it comes to travel and other activities. I had someone ask me today whether we were going to keep our reservations to Brussels (which is a day trip out of a longer vacation). The answer is, I don’t know. Like New York after 9/11, Brussels is going to be the safest place in Europe for a while. I just don’t know if I want to come face-to-face with the aftermath of the attacks.
I hope that you were not personally affected by the Brussels situation. If you were, I am sorry. And I am sorry for anyone who thinks that blowing up defenseless, innocent bystanders is the answer to anything. It’s simply an act of cowardice.
Thanks for checking in.