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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


On this sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, I continue to be amazed at how unprotected we are from future acts of terrorism, especially in high-profile places like New York City.

Our airplanes may be safer and our borders may be better protected, but six years after the worst acts of mass murder on U.S. soil, and nearly five years after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, I still can board a Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road or Amtrak train without even a cursory security check. I still can my car drive across any bridge or through any tunnel in the Big Apple without so much as being questioned, let alone searched. I still can walk into a Broadway theater in Manhattan with nothing more invasive than a glance from the guy taking my ticket. (Even at the massive Madison Square Garden, I’ve never been subjected to anything beyond a gentle pat-down). There continues to be an only nominal police presence in Times Square, where countless people would die if a terrorist committed a Middle East-style suicide bombing. And, on the local level, I still can walk into any store, movie theater, shopping mall, restaurant or supermarket in the Hudson Valley without being examined.

All of the above could be construed as a good thing, because it demonstrates that we still live in a free society where we can go about our daily routines without police or government intrusion. But it also demonstrates – to me, anyway – that all the talk we’ve heard since Sept. 11, 2001, about protecting the homeland has been little more than lip service.



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