Today We Remember

Today is day 4 of Global Security Week (GSW). It is in memory of this sad and tragic day in 2001 that the spirit and concept of GSW was created.
This is why GSW is held during the week leading up to 9/11 each year; to reflect, remember, learn, and work to raise awareness of all security issues and help to prevent bad things, of all types, from occurring, and to ensure such a tragedy does not happen again.
Sadly too many other terrorists attacks HAVE occurred, and continue to occur, since throughout the world…

It is no longer a huge world where activities in one country have no impact on other countries. Our technologies, communication systems, and advanced transportation systems have made us a small world with all countries closely connected, and dependent upon each other, in one way or another.
When bad things happen in one part of the world it impacts us all in one way or another.
It is up to each of us to stay aware and work to keep bad things from happening. We must each take action and not assume others will report suspicious acts or fix broken governments.
One area where folks who travel often have seen dramatic changes since 9/11 is at airports. Some effective changes, some not, but definitely a different way of flying. Before 9/11 most people went about their way through airports and didn’t take much notice of those around them. I’ve seen a complete change with regard to this. This heightened awareness has continued during these past 7 years.
I was struck by the raised awareness early this year when, at a very busy airport while waiting, in a very long, slow-moving, line that folded back and forth many times through the canvas ribbon fencing, to go through the security check. A mid-30’s or 40’s or so professional-looking white woman well-dressed in a business suit with skirt and high heels pushed through the people in line and under the canvas ribbon fencing and was rushing to the x-ray gate. I saw at least three people in line yell, “Security! Security!” and the security staff soon had the woman by the arms and was leading her away. The security staff thanked the people who yelled for alerting them.
I don’t know what her situation was; maybe she was just late for her flight. But before 9/11 would people have called for security in this situation, for someone professional-looking pushing to the front of the line? I don’t think so. I think people would probably have muttered under their breath and complained to a person by them about how rude it was, or what nerve she had! After all, she was well-dressed and surely was just rude or self-important. But, actually, I don’t ever remember any traveler calling for security prior to 9/11 as a result of the actions of people around them. Besides this situation, I have seen many other times since 9/11 when travelers have called security because of the suspicious actions of those around them. Sometimes justified and, true, sometimes not; many people have been put through the wringer because of false alarms. But, the awareness is now heightened in this small, closely connected world.
While this year’s GSW theme is cybercrime, we must always stay aware of all security issues and do what we can, and what is reasonable, to make this a safer, more secure, world. We must remember and learn from the tragedies of September 11, 2001.

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