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911: A decade later
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 09/05/2011

Flag statuteofliberty small Ten years have melted into the past since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This is a nice, round number from which we can reflect on how things are changed and how they've remain the same from that tumultuous event.

Unlike the general public, corrections staff continually have their eyes on security on all things. Most seasoned veterans of America's toughest beat find that our vigilance follows us outside the gates as we leave work. 911 left us with plenty to digest. Let us look at 10 of the many lessons through the eyes of corrections.
  1. Post-911 terror attacks have occurred. Not all of them were completed as planned by the agents of terror. Due to our attentiveness and shared communications we of thwarted nefarious plans and kept safe.
  2. Uncertainty is our only certainty. True, our vigilance has mitigated lots of danger. However, our eyes remained open and our muscles tense out of necessity.
  3. There was a well-deserved rise in the esteem in which we hold public safety staff. Heroism and the sense of duty arrived in time and in great measure.
  4. Safety is relative, not absolute. Debates over civil liberties and security were sparked and have resurged, demonstrating the workings of our democracy.
  5. Closure has not been total. The death of the architect of chaos may seem to close the door on the terror. However, the past cannot be undone. As a nation, we live in the legacy of 911. And some individuals face life without loved ones due to that incident.
  6. Simplicity works. Concealment tricks, once revealed, seem easier or more possible than previously thought. Simple, uncomplicated plans are likely to be more dangerous, as there are fewer variables for the executioners orders to manage
  7. Since 911, the public has been exposed to the likes of shoe bombings and has witnessed ordinary items turned into weapons. Therefore, at some level, the public gained greater awareness of the daily struggles of corrections staff.
  8. Any guess is good. Some believe that 911 anniversaries will bring more destruction. Others contend that the next attack will be a surprise unrelated to an obvious date. In short, disaster will happen when it happens. Our preparedness level is up to us.
  9. The quest for security never ends. With each find, we must continue to watch and react.
  10. Life goes on. Though we live our lives a bit differently, we still live. Day-to-day living is still recognizable from the pre-911 times. With that, there is a spark of cautious hope for the future.

A decade later we are still stunned. Looking back, it still does not seem entirely real. Overall, we have lost our sense of security. It is clear that the terrorist attack on the United States marks a change in our nation. We must never forget the many lessons from the painful and unprecedented ordeal.

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