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September 11th is not an easy topic to talk about. When it comes to traveling, especially on an airplane, so much has changed since that day. It is completely necessary. Yet things still need to improve even more for our safety. When I first started traveling, and let's not get into specifics, I'm old, things were completely different than they are today. You did not have to schedule your arrival to the airport terminal, so that you could plan for long lines at security. You did not have to worry about the long lines just to check in your luggage. You could pull up to the terminal with your car, and someone was there trying to take your luggage from you whether you wanted them to or not. Many times I would have to say, no I don't need your help. I'm going to take my own luggage in. I was young, and did not have the extra cash to pay these guys a tip for helping me with my luggage.
Today if you pull up to the terminal and try to wait for even a few minutes you are told to move on. I have looped around airport terminals too many times to count while I was waiting for someone to arrive. The police officers were there years ago, but not as many as there are today. I went to the airport last week and there were officers at every single parking entrance. There were officers outside at every other door to the ticket check-in, and I know that there were many more officers inside too. Security is very tight, but we could always use more. Security should be brought to the curb. By that I mean TSA, or police officers with security wands.
One day if we are lucky you will not be able to enter the airport area without scanning your fingerprint first. This will keep a wide angle perimeter of protection around all airports. Since so much has changed if you see someone carrying a gun it is because they have security clearance to do this. Still you should always tell a police officer if you see someone with any type of weapon. Whenever I would see something like this years ago I reacted to it. I know what it is like on an airplane, in a small confined area. The last thing that you need on an airplane is someone carrying a gun just because they did not feel like packing it properly in their luggage. I remember taking a flight to get to work, and a guy walked onto the plane with a gun in his suit coat pocket. Now I know that I was not the only person who saw this, because the lady near me said, can he carry that on the plane? I got up, walked to the front of the plane, and told the flight attendant what seat number he was in. She had the gate agent call security over to the plane to ask him. It turned out that he was a federal agent on his way to work, and had completely forgot that he did not remove his gun from his coat. He apologized, removed it, and put it into his carry on bag. Today if you see someone with a gun they are authorized to carry it, and are likely on your flight to protect you. However like I said you should always tell someone if you see anything that does not seem right, especially if you see someone with a weapon.
We all need to pay more attention to our surroundings, because you might notice something that someone else didn’t. When I traveled to Paris I went to visit The Lourve, and things were different then too. I could stand just inches away from the Mona Lisa, and the Hope Diamond. If I even tried stretching out my arm I would have hit them. You cannot do that today either and what a shame, because you can see so much more when you are that close up to something. People have sadly become more brazen. This too has changed a lot of things for us today. It is as if, “I dare you to,” is an everyday occurrence. This is another reason why we cannot have nice things anymore. This is not likely to change anytime soon. The day that I watched everything unfold on September 11th on the television will forever be etched in my mind. I thought about the people in those building, and on those planes. I wondered if I knew any of the people, especially because of all of those years I had worked in the airlines and lived near New York. I also wondered what was going through their minds, did they even understand what was going on. I thought about them, and then I thought about their families and friends. That day forever changed our lives, and traveling will never be the same because of this. Travel after September 11th has changed significantly and for a good reason.