I’ve often thought there was some deep connection between what happened in NYC (and elsewhere) on Sept. 11th, 2001, and what happened in NOLA on August 29th, 2005. I’m sure the following idea is not original. But I still think it’s important.
After 9/11, Americans made a collective promise to ourselves: to take the safety and security of our citizens seriously. We would be prepared for the worst. The flooding of New Orleans four years later revealed that we had not kept that promise.
I wonder what the next big catastrophe will be, and will we do any better?
My sympathies to all those who lost friends, family, or peace of mind on 9/11.
If you’re looking for another connection, Alan Gerson will be signing the 9-11 Comic Book at Octavia Books this afternoon.
Update: Another connection, straight from New York City: We’re Not Forgetting.
After 9/11, we could only see national security as meaning we had to stop the bad guys from performing terrorist attacks. We still haven’t realized that national security means having our infrastructure working.
So, be assured that those who want to harm us watched closely at how easy it was for one guy to accidentally shut the power off to San Diego.
National security also means not being in debt to other countries. It means not relying on other countries for energy, or food, or access to natural resources.
National security also means our cities aren’t crippled by natural disaster. You need only understand the purpose of an assault rifle to understand this. An assault rifle is designed to injure, not kill. A dead soldier requires no attention. A wounded soldier is not only a soldier who can’t fight, but a soldier who requires attention and resources.
A wounded city requires time, effort, and money. A wounded city is like a wounded soldier. It requires help from others, it offers little help to others. It makes our country vulnerable.
Considering we’re debating whether the Federal government should even bother dealing with disaster relief, I’m pretty worried.