July 22, 2009, 5:28 am
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh and others destroyed the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was, to date, the worst case of terrorism in the United States since the Civil War. On that day a number of things changed, but the biggest lessons were not well learned.
On September, 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda crashed air craft into the financial district of New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. It was the worst case of terrorism to date since Oklahoma City. A number of things changed, but some of the largest lessons were still not well learned.
Since early 2003, a strain of the influenza virus (H1N1) has been making its way around the world. Call it bird (avian) flu, call it swine flu, but in the late summer of 2009, it is still with us and according to the World Health Organization we are officially in the grips of a pandemic. Perhaps now is the time to review the lessons of both Oklahoma City and September 11, because a full-blown influenza outbreak could be more telling than either Oklahoma or September 11 of just how prepared our systems really are...