Letter: Events 'impossible to imagine'

Potent and powerful.

I'm reminded of the documentary "9/11: Four Flights," where a group of experts (e.g., authors, attorneys, etc.) reflected on the terrorist tragedy, shedding new light on our own shortcomings of myopia. Authorities - even the general public - could not conceive mentally back then that someone in real life (versus "reel life" in movies and television shows) would be willing to hurt or kill themselves to hurt and kill others just to make a point.

John Farmer, senior counsel, 9/11 Commission, however, dealt the crushing blow in his first seven words. "There was a systemwide failure of imagination. After all the dollars we spent, there was nothing anyone could do. They all boarded the plane. They'd gone through everything, all the layers of security. They're now sitting in those seats, and at that point, it's just going to play out."

As incidents like this become more frequent, we not only should worry about those occurrences but also about them becoming more routine. There is a distinction. When they become routine as opposed to frequent, they also will become less impossible to imagine and, unfortunately, more readily, if not begrudgingly, acceptable as a way of life.

Let's hope the fear of such tacit resignation remains impossible to imagine.

Rick Dana Barlow


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