Friday, April 26, 2013

Incredibly Sad

I just returned from a mini vacation to New York City.  The friends we joined there (from the west coast) had never been to NY so we did lots of touristy stuff - went sightseeing, saw a couple Broadway shows, ate ourselves silly, etc.

At the end of each day, we turned on the TV in our hotel room and watched the latest news on the search for those responsible for the tragedy in Boston.

I grew up in the fifties and sixties. Life wasn't exactly Leave It to Beaver and Happy Days, but it was certainly different. You could travel by air without taking off your shoes, coat, sweater, etc.and standing in a full body scanner. Friends and family seeing you off or coming to meet you could come right to the gate area, which were filled with goodbyes and hellos.

You could visit a national landmark then without placing your bags, coat, and the contents of your pockets in a plastic bin before a man ran a metal detector wand all around you.

No more.  This weekend our bags were even examined at the door of St. Patrick's Cathedral. And, of course, there was close to airport level security at the 9/11 Memorial - where most of this began.

9/11 Memorial
Is all this security necessary?  I suppose so. Every effort must be made to keep people safe. We saw that last week in Boston.

Can it keep us safe? Not completely. We saw that in Boston, too.

I read today that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told authorities he and his brother were planning to go to New York from Boston, to set off multiple bombs in Times Square.

Our hotel was in Times Square.

Frightening? Yes, a little.  But more than that - incredibly sad.

Would you care to share a thought on all this?

Sad thoughts aside, I hope you have a lovely weekend. I promise a more upbeat post on Monday.

Good Thought for Today:


Karen Walker said...

It is incredibly sad, LD, and scary. I grew up in the same timeframe you did. I was born and raised in NYC. But no matter where we are, bad things can happen. We can't let us frighten us to the point where we stop living our lives. Then evil does win.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oh for simpler times. We had less security back then and yet we were more secure.
I'm glad your family and friends were safe on your trip.

Maria Zannini said...

It hardly seems worth the trouble of visiting national treasures if I have to spend half my time displaying my wares for examination.

I don't know what the answer is, short of making it so unpleasant for the bad guys that they go somewhere else to make trouble. Instead, they take OUR rights away to make us more "safe". That makes no sense at all.

That's like paving over a field so you don't have to mow the grass.

Julie Flanders said...

I remembering visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral several years ago, and it's so sad and disturbing now to think you had to have that kind of security to go there now. Reading about the airport gates reminded me of one of the things I loved about going to the airport when I was a kid, I loved running to the gate to meet my grandpa or whoever was flying in. I doubt anyone could have imagined then what airports would become in the future. Such a sad situation all the way around.

On a brighter note, I love that photo with the dog and baby!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's a very sad sign of the times. I miss getting off a plane and having someone greet me.

Julie Luek said...

Flying is such a pain anymore because of security-- all the fun anticipation is gone. It is a sad time-- both what people are capable of and how we respond.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's absolutely heart breaking. it confounds me how people can plan to hurt others like this. How can anyone plan to attack a child? It makes no sense.

Julie Dao said...

I've been having nightmares every single night since last week happened. It's a scary world we live in but we have to do exactly that - live, no matter what. And remember how lucky we are, and tell our loved ones we care as often as possible. Events like last week's really put things into perspective.

Nicki Elson said...

It's sad that these things happen and equally sad that it can make people too scared to live life.

Like you said, Boston shows that nothing can make us truly safe. So I refuse to worry about what could happen and will just deal with it if/when it does happen, you know?

The spring after 9/11 I'd planned a trip to Italy with my sister. A few weeks before the trip there were travel warnings because of specific threats made against Americans in three of the cities we planned to visit. I had two small children at the time, so it definitely gave me pause, but only briefly because there wasn't a chance I was going to let the crazies of this world take Italy from me. So I went and I'm soooo happy I did.

Robin said...

Yes, this is incredibly sad.

Carol Kilgore said...

It is sad. And this will all continue for a while, I fear. I'm not sure what will stop it, or what changes will come. Since I have no control over what others do, I pray, take precautions, and do my thing. Nothing is guaranteed.

I love the dog and boy photo :)

mshatch said...

When the whole bombing thing first happened, my first thought was, I will never understand how anyone could do such a thing and kill innocent people, children. And then I remembered the wedding party the US bombed in 2002 and the drone attacks with their collateral damage and I can't help but think, what goes around comes around. You reap what you sew. I hope someday we will all look back on this time and shake our heads but I fear that time is along time coming.

Mark Means said...

Yes, very sad and even more scary to think you could have been close to their second strike, if they had gotten away.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

As a mother having a daughter attending Boston University and who regularly visits the Boston Public Library, I've had a stressful week. Then she visited friends in NY last Saturday, enjoying Times Square. I'm angry and frightened. My daughter is determined to complete her degree in International Relations and work in the diplomatic corps to bring about world peace. And I thought having an infant was stressful.

LD Masterson said...

Karen - I was born in Boston. I guess both our hometowns have had to get back up after taking a hit.

Alex - Thanks. And, yes, I miss those simpler times.

Maria - But giving up our national treasures would be a victory for the haters. I'll put up with the security crap until someone figures out a better way. Wish I had the answer.

Julie F. - Walking off the plane and seeing my family or friends waiting there was my favorite part of flying. Sigh.

Diane - I also remember waiting with a loved one until the flight was called, then standing by the window until the plane taxied away.

Julie L. - Flying is certainly a lot less fun and a lot more stress.

Jemi - I know. I can't conceive of the kind of hate needed to do something like that.

Julie D. - Very good point. Don't taking any blessings, including loved ones, for granted. I hope you can find more peaceful dreams.

Nicki - I'm glad you went to Italy and that it all went well. You're right, we have to live our lives.

Robin - Yup. Sigh.

Carol - Sounds like a plan.

mshatch - Hate is a very hard thing to change.

Mark - I can't dwell on that. Just have to put my trust in God and carry on.

Susan - I understand. We always fear more for our children. Perhaps your daughter will be instrumental in bringing peace. What a wonderful gift that would be. Bless her.

Jan Newman said...

All the "security measures" don't make me feel a bit safer. You just can't cover all the bases when it comes to our fellow human beings.

Stacy McKitrick said...

It's always one person who spoils it for everyone else.

Hope you had fun on your vacation anyway.

LD Masterson said...

Jan - I do somethings wonder if we check for the wrong things in the wrong places, but what do I know?

Stacy - Thanks. We actually had a very good time. Just got to thinking about all this on the way home.

Kaye George said...

Sometimes I think times were better years ago, then I remember things like segregation, the impossibility of a woman being a doctor--things like that. I think one reason we feel so unsafe now is because everything is universally reported. Jeri Westerson did a good FB post on how much better, and safer, modern life is than it was in medieval times. There IS progress, even though it's sometimes hard to see.

Todd said...

Tonight I went to a ball game. They searched my friend's bag and for a fleeting moment I wondered if going to a large public event was such a great idea.
We went inside, and we cheered for our team. We ate junk food, danced in the aisles, drank cold beverages, huddled under blankets, posed for silly Facebook pictures, and even watched some of the game.
Tonight it was Peoria 3, Dayton 0. But the important score was Friends 1, Terrorists 0. That is how you win the war on terror...laugh, sing, dance, and live without fear.

Todd said...

Tonight I went to a ball game. They searched my friend's bag and for a fleeting moment I wondered if going to a large public event was such a great idea.
We went inside, and we cheered for our team. We ate junk food, danced in the aisles, drank cold beverages, huddled under blankets, posed for silly Facebook pictures, and even watched some of the game.
Tonight it was Peoria 3, Dayton 0. But the important score was Friends 1, Terrorists 0. That is how you win the war on terror...laugh, sing, dance, and live without fear.

Rechelle Owens, Author said...

It is unnerving that there are people walking the streets of our wonderful country each and every day, their minds filled with thoughts of terror and destruction. That is one of the reasons I made a career in public safety and law enforcement.

It is also unfortunate that most of the time we hear about law enforcement on the news, it is something negative, because there are hundreds of thousands of dedicated men and women out there fighting everyday to keep us and our country safe from terrorists like those in the Boston bombing.

Much of the terrorist activity that goes on inside our borders you will never know about. It will never be on CNN, and you will not the names of the local or federal officer who thwarted one or more other bombings this week. They fight it every day of their lives. It is what they do, and it is often thankless. Yet they do it anyway, never wanting any notoriety! Hats off to all of our men and women in law enforcement who work hard each and every day to prevent more bombings like that in Boston from happening more often!

Mike Keyton said...

I liked Maria's comment about paving over grass. Bottom line is you live your life and trust in God - and the security service. MI5 came up trumps this time...but for how long?

Misha Gericke said...

I also find it incredibly sad that humanity as a whole is losing more and more of its innocence due to senseless acts by a few people.

Lexa Cain said...

Yes, it's awful. I've lived in Egypt for 20 yrs and have been to the US Consulate a number of times (for passport renewal, etc.) There was never any trouble or a long wait. I went last week and was shocked to see gigantic cement blocks blocking every street to the embassy, I had to go through airport level security to get in and waited two and a half hours for an appt I'd scheduled with them in advance.
Times are changing and not for the better. :(

Clarissa Draper said...

It is incredibly scary and sad. I have many friends here in Mexico that are moving to the US because they think it's too dangerous here but I telling them, it doesn't matter where you live in the world, you're not assured security. I have just started to take one day at a time. I don't think about the future too much.

Linda G. said...

Sad and scary. :(

All we can do is be vigilant as we go on with our lives. Use common sense measures to stay as safe as possible without living in a bubble. Because what's the point of safety if you can't fully live your life?

Michael Di Gesu said...

I was born and raised in NYC and the thought of those INSANE brothers setting off more bombs chills me and ANGERS me at the same time. 9/11 is still a very vivid memory to me and all of our lives as AMERICANS changed that day.

I was a small child in the sixties and I WALKED to kindergarten on my own. FIve residential blocks... YES, at five years old. Could you even fathom that thought today?

Six foot plus teenagers are being picked up by their mothers after school.

That saddens me. Kids will never have the feeling of security that we had growing up.


LD Masterson said...

Kaye - You make a good point. Many of the things we are frightened of now were always there, but without a spotlight shining on them.

Todd - I should have mentioned that in addition to visiting those "secured" sites in NY, we wandered through Central Park, watched street performers, rode the subway, saw a couple great Broadway shows, and had a great time. So I guess we can chalk up a victory here, too.

Rachelle - Hats off to them, indeed. Most are unsung heroes.

Mike - I read the story on that link. Kudos to MI5.

Misha - Innocence is reborn with each new generation. Maybe someday there will be a time when it is not lost.

Lexa - That's sad but not surprising.

Clarissa - Nope, I don't think there's anywhere that's totally safe any more. But even if there was, I don't think I could leave the U.S. It's my home.

Linda G. - Finding the balance is the hard part, isn't it?

Michael - When I was four, we lived three houses from my grandparents and I used to go there on my own. I also remember going to the corner store with my six year old brother, pulling our wagon and carrying a note from our mom for the grocer. He'd put what we needed in the wagon and my dad would pay for it later. Something else kids today will never know.

Al Diaz said...

I understand your sadness. I live in Mexico City and the increase of violence is frightening these days. People cannot go out without worrying if they'll come back all right. The narco war, the kidnap, the's so sad.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Yes it is sad, isn't it? I just read Al's note and that saddened me too. I feel safe in Chicago - I really do, but I'm happy to be moving to the suburbs. I'm hoping for a slower, safer, less scary life there. This was a beautiful post LD.

BTW - I used to live in Mason Ohio. ;)

LD Masterson said...

Al - I'm so sorry for you and everyone who lives under the constant fear of violence. It's beyond sad.

Kimberly - I hope your new home is everything you hope it will be.

I know Mason well. My elder son and his family lived there. In fact, two of my grandchildren were born while they lived there. I did lots of running back and forth from our home just outside Dayton (Riverside).

Patricia Stoltey said...

I go on and live my life as most people do, but that little scary threat always hangs over us like dark cloud. I've been around a lot of years, and I think we've always had something to be afraid of. It just changes over time. I just wish our children and grandchildren didn't ever have to be afraid at all.

LD Masterson said...

Patricia - Your last sentence is a beautiful thought.

Melody said...

You're right - it is incredibly sad. I don't know why people want to hurt other people. And not just a little - it's sadistic.

Murees Dupé said...

Like you I wish that life could go back to simpler times and to a time where people were not so violent. Why should you fear for your life when you only want to experience a bit of life? Great post and cute picture.

James Garcia Jr. said...

Hi, L.D. I saw your comment on Stacy M's blog about my book cover, so I thought I would come by and say hello. I chose this post because we live in California and went to NYC a couple of years ago and loved it. We saw the memorial when it was still a construction zone, obviously. I suppose it is all terribly necessary, but I echo your remarks - it's so very sad.


LD Masterson said...

Melody - Hate does terrible things to people.

Murees - "Why?" is always the question. Thanks for your comment.

James - Welcome and thanks for coming by. What really saddens me is today's children won't remember when it wasn't this way.

Maryann Miller said...

It is sad that we have such threats today and children grow up much more afraid than we did.

Thanks for posting that last picture. Made me smile. Our neighbors had a German Shepard who policed their young child. Any time the child started toward the street, the dog would gently herd her back toward the front porch where she was supposed to be playing. It was always so neat to watch the dog watching the child.