Today’s terrorist attack in Paris brought back memories to Lynda and me of our recent visit to France, prior to our stop in The Netherlands for the tour of the Delta Works storm surge suppression system. It was apparent to us that there was unease in the air in Paris due to the threat posed by fanatics.
First at the Eiffel Tower, we saw military personnel carrying heavy duty automatic rifles in the plaza. The soldiers were obviously on the alert for something. We hoped that the show of force was precautionary, but one never knows.
Later, as we were preparing to board a high speed train from Paris to Brussels, then to Amsterdam, we saw more armed soldiers, walking through the rail station. Again, we had to assume the action was precautionary.
News reports about today’s attack in Paris included official statements that there have been numerous terrorist plots there that have been foiled by good police work.
Of course, security at European airports, including in Amsterdam, was also intense, more than I have previously experienced.
Lynda and I encountered no problems in Europe; and overall we were pleased that the security forces were on the job.
I am, at best, an uneasy traveler and never feel comfortable outside the United States. The best part of any trip is coming home, in my opinion.
However, the short stop in Paris provided a perspective that I would not have had otherwise. I have an increased appreciation for our armed forces and local police for keeping our homeland safe.