Today is the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks from September 11th, 2001. What happened that day has had a profound effect on an international scale and in a variety of ways. I know how it affected me personally and won’t pretend to know how it may have affected each of you; that’s yours to consider. I would like to briefly discuss my perspective from a security angle though.
The U.S. wasn’t a stranger to terrorism prior to these events. Whether at home or abroad, we have been targeted for years by both foreign and domestic terrorists. There have been numerous attacks on embassies, military installations and individuals globally and the Oklahoma City bombing all prior to 2001. Each time, security was heightened in an effort to protect and as time passed, complacency returned.
What was different about September 11th was the number of targets, the damage and the loss of life. All were far more significant than ever before.
Since that time, we have seen changes in the levels of security at government installations, national monuments, contracting companies and even major events. People, in general, seem a bit more vigilant. They report suspicious activity and take note of items that seem out of place. We’re far from perfect at this point. Government decision-making sometimes seems flawed given the intelligence that they receive and we still overlook things that don’t seem right. We do rely too much on the civil servants or anyone else; we may not want that responsibility on our shoulders.
Little things can make a difference. Reporting a package left in a restroom or hallway is important. It may be nothing but then again… Maybe you making the choice to report something is enough to make someone else consider their own vigilance later on.
Today, there will be ceremonies of remembrance; there will be moments of silence; there will be prayers. I won’t make those types of appeals; they’re personal just like your recollections. I’d ask each of you to consider your role in security though; the security of our nation, our communities, our families and friends. What can you do to have an effect on protecting them?
This article was written by Patrick Scanlon, Facility Security Officer at MetiSpace Technologies, Inc.