Each year on Sept. 11, Americans pause in memory of the lives that were lost in a terrible day of terrorist attacks. Understandably, we also reflect on the security we generally assume is ours as people go about their business and personal activities every day. If we donít think about the dangerous world in which we live at any other time, the memories of the shock each of us experienced this week six years ago opens the door to certain questions.

We know that individuals like those whose hateful actions sent almost 3,000 people to their deaths still want to cause us harm. Are we better prepared? Can we be certain that authorities will be able to successfully deflect every plot? Assuming there will be another attack, how and where will it happen?

As important as the answers to such questions are, the probability is much greater that our safety will be compromised by criminals who are not international terrorists. More likely, they will be people who have reached a crisis level in their personal relationships or financial situations, or who are desperate to feed a drug habit. Others may have serious mental health issues. Every day, news accounts offer stories from throughout the nation about such tragic incidents.

Security was also a high priority for the renovation plans drawn for each Brownwood school campus when designs were finalized for the 2005 bond issue that is funding the construction. At Monday nightís board meeting, several examples of that priority were shown to trustees. Primary entrances are plainly marked, and those are positioned to allow for constant monitoring. Doors and windows have been installed or replaced with security in mind. It may mean some slight inconvenience for visitors, but it also means tall hurdles are in place for those who might arrive to harm children and staff.

Security was a key concern for members of the citizens committee that advised the school district as the bond package was formulated, and their concerns have been addressed. People must still remain alert to threats, but at least now the facilities will not work against them.

Brownwood Bulletin