On this, the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, many here in Houston will spend the day remembering those they lost.
Larry Catuzzi’s daughter Lauren was a passenger on United Flight 93 and told KTRH time doesn’t heal all wounds.
“In some respects it does. But in most respects it doesn’t. The circumstances don’t change. Those that lost loved ones still feel that loss,” Catuzzi said.
Catuzzi is in Pennsylvania this morning, where Flight 93 went down. Toni Lawrence is on the board at Lone Star College. She lost her sister, political commentator Barbara Olson, who was on Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon. She told KTRH today is a day of reflection for her.
“I usually don’t make too many plans. We have a memorial set up at the cemetery. I go out and visit my sister and just have a very peaceful day with family members,” Lawrence said.
Million Muslim March Planned for Washington
Lawrence and Catuzzi are just two of many people who will spend the day reflecting. Over three thousand people were killed in the attacks. But there are others who are choosing to use this day to advance a political agenda.
There is a march planned for Washington today. Organizers are calling it the Million Muslim March. They want people to stop associating Muslims with terrorism. But diversity expert Royalyn Reid told KTRH they are going about it the wrong way.
“It might have been a better thing to choose or consider another day to demonstrate that we are rallying on 9/11 around a common cause,” Reid stated.
Reid doesn’t think the march is a very good idea.
“9/11 is a sacred day for our country. We should be careful not to take away from it,” Reid said.
And Lawrence said she wishes more people would focus on those that were lost in New York, Washington and last year in Benghazi.
“I am thinking very much about those four families and what they are going through. I knew in one year what happened. Those families still really don’t know,” Lawrence said.
Changes in airport safety and first responder training the ‘New Normal’
Security at the nation’s airports has changed since the attacks in 2001. Aviation expert Jay Ratliff told KTRH that it’s much safer to fly now than it was then.
“It’s significantly better now. At the time of the attacks we were at about a 2 or two-and-a-half if I could use a scale of one to ten,” Ratliff said.
But Ratliff still has his concerns.
“I am still bothered by the fact that in many airports where planes are stored overnight that there is a minimal level of security,” Ratliff stated.
Some people complain about the security changes and long lines. But Catuzzi isn’t one of them.
“I know it’s an inconvenience. But the alternatives as we witnessed twelve years ago are far more negative,” Catuzzi explained.
Security isn’t the only place we’ve seen changes. Training for first responders has changed, too. Jeff Caynon of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association says it’s gotten more in depth.
“We’ve always trained for mass casualty incidents here in Houston. But the size and scope of that training has changed over the years since 9/11,” Caynon told KTRH.
And what is the biggest change?
“The most notable change has been a greater focus on some form of weapons of mass destruction training,” Caynon explained.
And that, because of the attacks 12 years ago, is the new normal.