We are sad for Belgium. Sad because no one should have to walk outside their home and worry about being attacked. Sad because this is the new "Normal".
Our government tells us we can be safe because of the "See Something, Say Something" policy, which assumes we are all alert and authorities will take appropriate action.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Below is a picture of a coat left on a seat. Is something under it? Was it forgotten or left deliberately? When asked (Susan, loudly), no one around it said it was theirs. That's me sitting, two seats away from it. On the other side of it, a sack. Is it empty?
Let's add some detail. This was November 26, 2015 -- 13 days after the Paris attacks, when our government PR spinners kept insisting that "See Something, Say Something" was the best plan for our safety. More detail? This was in the Washington, DC, Reagan airport. An airport. In Washington, DC, our nation's capital. More detail? The area where this coat was left was deserted, except for us. It was Southwest's gate waiting areas and we had gone to that particular gate section because it was an empty, quiet and calm area where we could wait for our flight call. But there was that coat. What was under it? Anything? Nothing? Nobody around but us. Susan took a picture.
Finally, after calling out for someone to claim it, she walked over to the nearest check-in counter (Southwest Airlines) and pointed it out to the two attendants working there. She told them no one seemed to claim it and, based on the "See Something, Say Something" suggestion, she thought maybe security could come take a look at it.
We moved to a different gate section of the waiting area. Twenty minutes later our flight was called and we boarded the plane. During those twenty minutes no one ever came over and checked out the coat. So much for security in your nation's airports.
First two images: Daniel Berehulak, NYT