Green River Star -

Our View: 15 years later, we can do better


Without a doubt, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, will forever live with the people who experienced them or watched the tragedy unfold live on TV.

Some may have been students walking into class when the events took place while others may have been sitting to breakfast or starting their workday. Like when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the Challenger space shuttle exploded or, going further back, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, there is a generation of people who have where they were and what they were doing that day permanently etched into their memories.

In the past 15 years, the nation has experienced a lot. This includes two major wars, the U.S. economy’s implosion in 2007, and the rise of the Kardashians. Despite all that, one core question that we continue struggling with: how do we keep ourselves safe.

In the months and years following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, we’ve allowed ourselves to be subject to incredibly broad plans and legislative action under the guide of keeping us safe.

After the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, these ideas haven’t stopped as even now, as one of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s earliest ideas involves the building of an impossibly expensive wall between Mexico and the U.S. We’ve become afraid of people who think and act differently than we do, and that’s a major problem.

There is no way we will be 100 percent safe, even if we give up all the freedoms that make us uniquely American. Trump’s wall is a disaster waiting to happen, as it could be built as high as is humanly possible, but could still be tunneled under or simply navigated around.

Other methods in place have resulted in more hassle for travelers at airports, especially for those who have Middle Eastern-sounding names and brown skin, or in the case of Homeland Security, a means to give military-grade hardware to law enforcement agencies that probably shouldn’t have it.

We shouldn’t live in fear and we shouldn’t be so willing to use xenophobia as a means of keeping the boarders secure. We’re not proposing the U.S. should completely abandon the idea of being more secure, however we believe better options should be explored as the 15th anniversary of a world-changing event is marked.

We can and should do better.


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