weather icon Clear

Terrorists killed more than people

Sept. 11 changed us. And not necessarily for the better.

While it has become necessary to be more aware of our surroundings in wake of the terrorist attacks 20 years ago, we also tend to look for problems where there are none.

As a people, we have become more suspicious, especially of those who look or sound differently than we do. I see it regularly in the city’s police blotter. Someone calls the department to report there is an unknown person, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, walking or driving slowly through the area. Or they see someone approaching the neighbor’s house that they do not know. Or they hear a strange, loud popping noise and assume it’s gunfire or explosives.

Granted, some of this attention is warranted — and very much appreciated — but most times there is a simple explanation about why someone “strange” is in a particular neighborhood.

And how do we go about defining what is strange or suspicious?

I grew up in a fairly homogeneous neighborhood. Most of my friends looked and spoke like me. Many also had the same religious background so our customs and habits were similar.

But I also had friends of different races and cultures, and we happily shared them with each other.

When I was in junior high and high school, many of my friends were Japanese. I would dine on traditional Japanese dishes at their house and accompany them to festivals and events at their cultural centers.

In return, they would enjoy traditional dishes from my family heritage and join in on festivities for the holidays.

Even today, despite all the changes, I continue to share bits and pieces of my heritage with friends and co-workers.

Many of my classmates in high school were Black. They were transported by the school district from the inner city areas to the suburbs to help desegregate classes, decades after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation. We had common interests, joined the same clubs and worked on activities together. We became friends.

It taught me to judge people by their personalities and not by their appearances.

And then Sept. 11 happened.

We could no longer go about our daily lives without looking for someone who did not belong. We can no longer travel without going through metal detectors, having our suitcases examined or following strict guidelines for what can be taken on an airplane.

Many buildings, particularly those that house government agencies, cannot be entered without passing security checks.

I realize these precautions are there to protect us, and yet I often wonder who we are protecting ourselves from.

While I still aim to get to know someone before passing any judgment, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

Remember the old adages “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and “Looks can be deceiving.” They are true. In my lifetime I have met those who looked “innocent” but who had ulterior motives and ideals that would make many of us shake in fear.

There is no way to go back to how it was before Sept. 11. The events that day altered the world.

For now, we must remain vigilant so that something similar never happens again, but perhaps we can do it with a little more thoughtfulness before we start raising the red flags.

There was more kindness in the world before that day 20 years ago. We will never forget what happened or those whose lives were lost, but we must also not let our humanity be taken from us.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Smart development key to sustainable future

I commend my friend and colleague Mayor (Kiernan) McManus for his comments in the Boulder City Review on Sept. 1 regarding his focus on conservation to best serve the residents of Boulder City. Together, our cities have a long-standing commitment to conservation and sustainability.

Solutions to nation’s woes just take action

What if you had solutions to a multitude of problems? Would you share what you knew or would you hesitate because the facts were contrary to the status quo?

Dont let city become ‘Pothole Paradise’

Two years ago at a public event, a friend got in my face and in an uncharacteristic, agitated voice said, “Fix my street!” Initially I thought he was joking. But after two attempts to change the subject, I realized he wasn’t laughing.

Court of public opinion too quick to judge

Most people know me for my former Throwback Thursday columns with the Boulder City Review and some people may know of me from my failed run for City Council. What people don’t know, however, is that I used to work for actor Johnny Depp through a contract I had running events at multiple properties on the Las Vegas Strip. I was Mr. Depp’s private dining planner for all of his Las Vegas trips, including events with his family.

Relax, it’s Labor Day

Monday is Labor Day, and it’s somewhat ironic that a day devoted to celebrating the American workforce is a day that most of us strive to do anything but work.

Options for conservation must be explored

Fall weather will be a welcome change in the next few weeks, it has been a hot summer. Some of the hottest temperatures on record for Southern Nevada. And most of those records have been over the past few years. We can look at the changes in water levels at Lake Mead and know that things are very different from any other time in our lifetimes.

Agostini, Eagles Closet help those in need

Since the new school year began at the beginning of the month, students and staff members at Boulder City High School have made a variety of changes to help ensure their health and welfare in the wake of COVID-19.

Water’s low cost makes it expendable

Water is essential to life. Humans and every living species can go without many things but not without water; yet many take water for granted. We water our lawns, fill our swimming pools, wash our cars, take long showers, hose down our driveways and rarely even think about the costs involved. Why? Because water is too convenient and, most importantly, inexpensive.

City long devoted to conservation, environmental issues

The water level at Lake Mead fell to 1,068 feet in July 2021. That is the lowest level since the lake was first filled following the Hoover Dam’s dedication in 1935. This month, the federal government has declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering cutbacks in water allocations to surrounding states from the river.

Teachers’ impact lasts a lifetime

It’s not very often that you get the chance to let someone know what an impact they made on your life, with perhaps the exception of your parents, if you’re lucky. This is especially true for teachers and mentors you’ve met early in your education or career because you may not realize until many years later what type of effect they had on your choices.