Just yesterday, my family and I were in Washington, D.C. for the day. There, we visited the Supreme Court and the Smithsonian's American History museum. We traveled from and to Reagan National Airport, where we arrived and departed, via DC's fabulous subway system.
Ironically, London was on my mind. One reason was that, in anticipation of the International Olympic Committee's scheduled announcement of yesterday, I was pulling for London to be the site of the 2012 Olympics. Another was that, riding on Washington's Metro system put me in mind of London's Underground, which my family and I rode several times on our only trip to England, back in 2000.
As we entered several DC subway stations, I couldn't help but thinking how easy it would be for some coward with a bomb to wreak havoc, in this subway or in London's or New York's. Obviously, evil, gutless, godless people had the same thoughts about the Tube and acted malevolently on the insight yesterday.
It seems that during recent trips by plane, it's become routine for me to hear people complaining about having to be wanded, being asked questions about their travel plans, or getting told to take off their shoes before boarding airplanes. It's amazing to me how quickly we seem to have forgotten the horrors of September 11, 2001!
That's why I was glad to learn that the Department of Homeland Security today put all US railways on Orange Alert. I don't know about you, but I'm willing to add time to my trips, near and far, if we can thwart, intimidate, or slow down potential terrorists.
Hopefully, the events of July 7, 2005 in London will refresh Americans' memories of why we need to be vigilant in protecting our homeland from those who hate freedom. Part of that vigilance must include a willingness to put up with some inconveniences at airports and train and bus stations, at tourist attractions, and even perhaps on our Interstates.
Freedom is at stake, folks.
Life is at stake.
When apt to forget that, remember September 11 in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Remember March 11 in Madrid. Remember July 7 in London.