Mornings like this make me wonder what people think about before coming to visit the Nation’s Capital. I grew up in Potomac, just 20 minutes outside of Washington D.C. and have spent so many weekends around the city that I sometimes forgot what an important Political Center it truly is. However, when I received a text this morning from my dad saying that his building, the Pentagon, was on lock down and there were shooters on the loose, it was a sickly reminder of the dangers that come with living in this area. This wasn’t the first time my dad’s job at the Pentagon had me terrified for his life. On 9/11 I didn’t even fully grasp that the twin towers went down, because I was too focused on the fact that my dad’s building was also struck. This time around, constant texting, twitter updates and media coverage has made me feel much more in the know about what is going on, though.
But this lightening fast media coverage has me wondering, do people avoid visiting the Capital because of the constant threat of attacks? Within minutes of the shootings anyone with access to social media will have seen some information relating to the incident. Will they dismiss it as a random act or knock Washington D.C. off their bucket list? I will admit, there are places in the world that I would not dare to travel to right now. Political turmoil, intense violence, or flat out dislike for Americans can easily deter me from a certain travel destination. But I have never considered D.C. one of those places.
This mornings events, the recent anniversary of 9/11, and an untimely watching of Olympus Has Fallen has made me really question if people abroad would consider D.C. too dangerous a place to visit! I hope not, as I think the rich history we have here is fascinating. However, feeling my heart drop through my stomach at my dad’s text this morning, I can’t say I wouldn’t understand.