Security measures have improved since attack
By ROBERT S. FLEMING
As we approach the six-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, the tragic images of that horrific day remain etched in our minds and as scars within our souls.
While many of us lost loved ones, close friends or colleagues that day, we all lost our innocence with respect to our national and individual safety and security. We now question what we previously took for granted in terms of our vulnerability as a nation and a region and that unfortunately means terrorists have succeeded in bringing uncertainty and fear into our lives. This is an integral component of their agenda.
But, as Americans, we cannot and must not let the terrorists triumph. We must replicate the many instances in our history when we rallied during tough times. As a nation and a region, we must be proactive, rather than reactive, to the ever-present threat of terrorism.
The natural question that comes to mind is whether we are better prepared today to prevent and respond to a terrorist event than we were six years ago. As a nation and region, we have made remarkable progress. An essential component of our preparedness involves governmental cooperation and coordination.
Six years ago, government agencies and departments operated as independent entities, whereas today they are "on the same page."
Within the region, task forces have been diligently identifying vulnerabilities and developing comprehensive plans and strategies to address them. These groups have expanded from focusing only on their respective state to collaborating across state lines, given the reality of our geographic region. First responders from all disciplines are receiving extensive, coordinated training that is no longer discipline-specific. A National Incident Management System and National Response Plan have been developed and implemented.
Communications systems continue to be enhanced, providing reliable and interoperable communications between emergency responders and governmental agencies. Fusion centers that incorporate advanced technologies are now in place to gather, process and disseminate critical intelligence regarding potential attacks.
Each month, our national and regional preparedness continue to be enhanced by our patriots whose responsibility it is to prevent and respond to terrorist events and other major emergency incidents. These "domestic defenders" strive daily to ensure that this and every Sept. 11 in the future will serve as a day of remembrance rather than a day of re-enactment.
|Date Published:||Sunday, September 9, 2007 - 01:00|