Sunday 11 September 2011

An Anniversary And Questions Of Security

There is enough comment about the tenth anniversary of 9/11 for me to avoid saying too much. What I can say was that with two of ours working over the Atlantic at that time, in and out of New York and the World Trade Centre on occasion it was much too close for comfort.

It was at just on 2.00 p.m. UK time that I got the call from Miami to tell me to stay out of London and look at CNN news, so I was watching from then on. We did go to the Prom’ the next day and there was a good deal of discussion about how the BBC might react with the Last Night.

In 2001 a good many of the Arena season ticket holders including ourselves decided not to go to the Last Night because it was going to be an awkward compromise. But for most of us the fact that on the Friday night there was to be the Verdi Requiem was the best way to finish the season.

One of the ‘planes that was used in the attack flew out of Boston Logan and it was only days later that we flew in. The flight was less than half full. The security at Logan was a shambles. But the Americans were both surprised and happy to see us.

We were staying with family and meeting their friends and others and I think saw the reactions as typical of the great majority of Americans at that time. It was a severe shock then and it is a shock that they have not forgotten. Much as I have not forgotten what happened to Bootle and Liverpool.

When the London 7/7 bombings occurred again we were up in London the following day. It was very quiet and people left early to go home. The security at the Prom’s Last Night two months later was almost as bad as that at Logan. There was too much posturing and too little effective communication by the security goons.

The threats are still there and perhaps it is only a matter of time before in one place or another that the next bad one will occur. Can we get our act together?

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