As the nation reflects on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, TAPinto Greater Olean asked community members if they feel America is safer today than it was on Sept. 11, 2001. Here is what they said.

Paul Lashomb, former Portville resident

  • I feel that the U.S. has much better safety protocols today than it did before 9/11, but I think terrorism is on our minds more than ever. But I feel equally safe day to day now with the security and checks in place today.

Terry Clancy, Salamanca

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  • Yes, it’s definitely safer now. I never felt unsafe; it was a bleep in the system; I never felt unsafe.

Patrick Cullinan, Cheektowaga

  • I do not necessarily feel more safe, but more aware.

Isis Wilcox, Olean

  • Yeah, more safety precautions like within airports and stuff like that. Maybe in school, sometimes they have alarms that go off if they were to see something.

Kelly Andreano, Olean

  • Yes. Since 9/11 the United States has gone to great lengths to protect our borders to ensure travel security. The TSA has stricter regulations. Our cybersecurity has been increased, and we have countrywide safety protocols established with homeland security.

Dana Roth, Olean

  • I don’t feel like that U.S. is safer now because we have somebody in office who is emboldening the people that have these ideas against the other. And they’re like “Oh so you support this? That means you’re a terrorist,” and they’re not. There’s so much misinformation.

Chrisanne Nevin, Allegany

  • I am safer now than before because it made us more aware than ever. Homeland security and safer precautions were a big help.

Charles Martin, Allegany

  • I don’t think the U.S. is safer today than it was on or before Sept. 11, 2001. Even though the response and policies developed due to the 9/11 attacks created more fear, and more profiling, it did have a silver lining. The U.S also unified more than I have seen in my lifetime.

Robert J. Forness, Allegany

  • Yes, it is for sure safer. So many protocols have changed for the better, and there is an awareness to keep improving those protocols as new threats are noticed. To be quite honest, I think us as a country became a little too complacent, and unfortunately it took such a significant and tragic event to change that.

Ellen Hartman, Portville

  • I don’t know. The 9/11 attack came from a space ordinary people like me don’t have information about so it’s not as if I felt unsafe before it happened. The DHS seems to say domestic terrorism is a bigger danger now than international terrorism, so I don’t suppose I am actually any safer. Civilian impacts from terrorism seems very random.”

Aaron Hess, Allegany

  • I feel we have much more procedures and protocols in place now than we did in 9/11, but we are under attack from within with groups like Antifa and other radical groups. I feel we banned together as a nation back then but now we are torn apart.

Related story: Western New Yorkers Remember 9/11 Vividly

Riley Burns, Thomas Doyle, Ryan McSpedon, Christopher Neverette, Nicolas Rohloff, Matthew Shalloe, Haley Sousa, Thomas Valentine, Dominick Welch and Daniel Yereance conducted the interviews for this report. All are students in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University.

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