I’ve often heard people wondering how 9/11/2001 could happen. How could security be so lax that 3 planes could be hijacked? Perhaps my tale will help you understand.
Months before the terrorists’ attacks happened, security was increased in Federal Agencies because college students of Middle Eastern descent were entering facilities selling paintings and magazine subscriptions. Security thought the students were doing this so that they could see the layout of offices. One even entered our St Louis OSHA Office and was talking to the receptionist when a supervisor joined them and escorted the student from our office. She was the person who told me about the security increases at military installations throughout the St Louis Metropolitan Area.
My son and I flew into Baltimore 8/20/2001 on a mini vacation. My sister was supposed to join us, but had to cancel at the last minute. I had purchased advance, nonrefundable tickets so we rented a car upon arriving and drove to Langley, VA. Our 5 days were spent sight seeing and enjoying ourselves. On 8/24/2001 we checked out of our hotel and returned to Baltimore for our afternoon flight home.
We drove to the car rental return, and were told we could leave our bags in the trunk and come inside to wait for the airport van. Drivers entered and were assigned cars to return to the airport to be re-rented. A man re-entered and said a rental car still had bags in the trunk. I looked at the agent who apologized and told the driver to bring in our bags.
We climbed into the van and were taken to the airport for check in. The ticket agent asked if our bags were ever out of our sight and when I hesitated she said, “If you say yes, your bags will be pulled and thoroughly searched and you will be detained and miss your plane. Now I’m going to ask you again, were your bags ever out of your sight?” I said no and we watched our bags be checked in for the flight back to St Louis, MO on August 24, 2001.