One of the curious things about people is how quickly, and sometimes how slowly, we learn. In the wake of the Paris attacks and now San Bernardino, it seems people are finally starting to take preparedness a bit more seriously. We can sometimes be a bit harsh on civilians, and honestly, it is often quite funny, but when disaster strikes we all want everyone to be okay. We train for the worst-case scenario all the time, so preparedness is part of the air we breathe; it’s not that way for civilians who only know it through the evening news or their Facebook feed.
We have to give credit where it is due, and we have witnessed true heroism from people totally untrained and unprepared, who stand up when the worst day of their lives arrives. From the stoicism, everyday humor, and bravery exhibited by Londoners during The Blitz and the IRA bombing campaign from the ’70s through the ’90s, to the defiance of Parisians in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and latest Paris attacks, civilians have greater reservoirs of bravery than they are aware of. But they are seldom prepared to act, and as a result, it takes time for them to react—that time costs lives.
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