From the September/October issue of NFPA Journal®
In July, a few days after 76 people were killed in the terrorist attacks in Norway, the Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbo wrote a column for The New York Times. The title, "The Past Is a Foreign Country," caught my attention. Nesbo wrote movingly about how horrible events change the world forever. Describing Norway as a place where people had never had to think about security concerns, he said, "There is no road back to the way it was before."
Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans know exactly what Nesbo means. It is hard to remember now how different life was before that day, when hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, and it is not just security lines at airports and screenings in high-rise office buildings that signify the change. All of us are more aware and more wary. Innocent occurrences trigger dire possibilities in ways they did not before. Perhaps those fears will dissipate over time, but for everyone who was old enough to understand what was happening, 9/11 will never fully disappear from memory.