Doug Robinson: Before and after 9/11

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Nobody got nervous about opening mail, fearing it might have ricin or anthrax in it. You could go to the mailbox and never give a second thought to opening a letter from a stranger.

Government wasn’t as big. According to the Washington Post, some 263 government organizations were created or reorganized after 9/11. Just what we need … more government. More than 1,200 government organizations and 1,900 private companies do work related to counter terrorism, homeland security and intelligence. The Coast Guard, TSA and Border Patrol budgets have all more than doubled.

The unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, not 7.4. I suspect that 9/11 had some part in that. Gas was $1.46 a gallon.

Before 9/11, no one ever thought America could be like Northern Ireland or the West Bank.

Nobody knew you could put a bomb in your shoe or your water or — egads — your underwear.

After 9/11, the singing of “God Bless America” returned to Major League Baseball parks during the seventh-inning stretch. Some changes were for the better.

This, for instance: Nobody has looked at first responders the same since then. Policemen, firemen, EMTs — they’re viewed with a lot more respect.

Twelve years later, America is a different place. Do we even want to know what it will be like in another 12 years?

Doug Robinson's columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. EMAIL: drob@deseretnews.com

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