It boggles the mind.
Why would the Coast Guard decide to conduct a training exercise on the Potomac River, a stone’s throw away from the Pentagon, where the president of the United States and others attended a memorial event, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks???
The media, always on hyper-alert for anything terrorism related on the anniversary of Sept. 11, ran with reports of shots fired on the Potomac.
That unleashed never-far-from-the-surface fears of terrorism amid memories of that day 8 years ago when a hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and another into a field in Pennsylvania — shattering the country’s sense of security.
It turns out the Coast Guard was conducting a training exercise. “Somebody said ‘bang bang’ on the radio” and no shots were fired, Coast Guard Vice Admiral John Currier said, calling it a regular training exercise.
But still, what were they thinking?
The Coast Guard’s first line of defense over the incident was: “The best way that we in the Coast Guard can remember Sept. 11 and our security obligations to the nation is to be always ready and this requires constant training and exercise.”