Thursday, September 13, 2001

Work resumes, but life is different


Added security guards watch pedestrians, vehicles

By John J. Byczkowski and Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A day after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon, Greater Cincinnati went back to work Wednesday.

        But it seemed a different place.

        Extra security guards appeared in offices, watching passersby and vehicles, checking identification. A sign at a downtown garage announced all trucks were banned. Billboards wished blessings to the injured and families of the dead.

[photo] The sign at the parking garage at The Cincinnati Enquirer building typifies garages in other buildings.
(Dick Swaim photo)
| ZOOM |
        Brady Ross of West Chester Township walked across Fountain Square, looked up at the 30-story Fifth Third Center, then imagined a plane slamming into its side and the resulting horror inside. “I think the fear factor has increased,” he said.

        And they're taking notice of him, he said. He works in building-energy management, and that morning stood on a ladder in a downtown office, working in the spaces above the ceiling tiles. He said he felt eyes of the office workers on him: What was he doing up there?

        Since Tuesday, Cincinnatians — as people across the nation — have been sorting out their emotions, trying to decide how much more security they want, and what they're willing to give for it.

        “Terrorism and civil liberties always coexist very poorly,” said Abraham Miller, a terrorism expert at the University of Cincinnati. “A democratic society pushed to the brink will become very undemocratic. Our children will not live in as free a society as I have.”

        Said Jewish Community Relations Council Director Michael Rapp, “Americans now perhaps appreciate what it is to live in a society where terrorist acts are a way of life.”

        “I thought we were the No.1 country with the top defense in the world. I thought we were safe,” said Josh Bowman, 16, a junior at Bellevue High School. “I just wonder what else is going to happen. They say this is just going to be the tip of the iceberg.”

More guards, security

        Returning to work Wednesday, Cincinnatians were given a taste of increased security. Some stores remained closed for at least part of the day. Guards were posted outside federal office buildings and some parking garages.

        Everyone entering federal facilities was subject to heightened security, including metal detectors and X-ray machines for their bags and briefcases.

        And more security is on the way. As local head of Pinkerton-Burns Security, Kurt Kaiser added guards at more than 30 companies, took on 12 new clients and stepped up security for other clients to make it more visible.

        “A lot of folks' view of security is laid back and relaxed, because we do live in Cincinnati. ... It's the mentality, "it happened there, it won't happen here,'” he said. “I think that's something (the attack) definitely changed.”

        But adding security guards is a placebo, said Kathy Carroll, building manager at the Scripps Center downtown. “That's only going to make you feel better,” she said. “They're not trained for terrorist acts.”

        What's the real answer? “I don't think we realize what it means,” she said. “I think it's so early. Everyone just doesn't understand how this could have happened.”

A new way of life

        Rabbi Nechemiah Kibel, at the Regional Institute for Torah and Secular Studies in Golf Manor, said Americans might have to embrace the kinds of security measures commonplace in Israel.

        “Very strict security precautions could become a way of life. ... It's worth it,” Rabbi Kibel said.

        That would be unfortunate, said William Morgan, president of Pacholder Associates investments in Kenwood.

        Tuesday morning, Mr. Morgan was eating breakfast with a co-worker beneath the atrium of the Marriott at the World Trade Center.

        He looked up through the glass at the North Tower in time to see an explosion. Then came debris. They got out before the metal, concrete and glass crashed into the restaurant.

        After seeing a plane hit the South Tower, they caught a water taxi to New Jersey, rented a car and drove back to Cincinnati.

        Even having witnessed the disaster, Mr. Morgan said calmly he hopes people don't overreact. “We see violence all around the world,” he said. “It happened to hit close to home this time.

        “I don't think long term it's going to change anything. Short term, we're going to see a lot of change. ... I think it was a big wake-up call. To what, I don't know. We'll find out.”

        Staff writers Ben L. Kaufman and Lori Hayes contributed.


       



At a glance
Attacks are topic No. 1 in classrooms
Body recovery part of work of NYC crews
Constituents' emotions unmitigated
Different faiths, all drawn to pray
Family clings to details of missing woman's fate
Jews seek normalcy
Local firefighters on task force joining rescue efforts
Muslims urged to give aid
No date, time for nation's air travel to resume
Notebook
Outpouring of donations keeps blood supply steady
Relatives wait for word, pray
Stranded travelers find help in Florence
Tightened air security will be norm
Travelers wait, pray in deserted airport
- Work resumes, but life is different
Wright-Patterson medical personnel join effort
PULFER: Cell phones
RADEL: Tristate sprouts flying flags
Reports bring sweep of river
Court upholds stay for Byrd
Luken suggests raises for cadets
Luken unused to second place
Primary results
Council halts bid for road-extension vote
Superintendent's contract extended
Tristate A.M. Report
Woman shot outside school as it lets out