After Obama’s terrorism message, travelers remain vigilant
On one of the busiest travel days of the year, less than two weeks after the Paris terrorist attacks, Madison travelers said Present Barack Obama’s message of going about Thanksgiving weekend activities as usual is exactly how they’re proceeding.
“The most important thing we can do is keep living and being with the ones we love instead of living in fear,” Madison neurologist Dr. Mandria Mehra said as she traveled to her hometown of Washington, D.C. “A heightened sense of alert is crucial. That being said, I’m not going to cancel my travel plans.”
Mehra said the Paris attacks had her and her husband initially rethinking attending D.C. sporting events.
“Terrorists are saying D.C.’s a main target. Initially, we thought should we cancel our hockey tickets or our basketball tickets. Or do we go forth? And we’re going forth,” Mehra said.
Also traveling home to D.C., University of Wisconsin freshman Harrison McMillan said because the travel world he’s known since he was 4 years old following the Sept. 11 attacks, not much has changed for him.
“My dad actually saw the second plane crash. He was in a building that was a few blocks away from the World Trade Centers,” McMillan said. “I hadn’t really thought about traveling all that much today.”
In New York City, University of Wisconsin art professor Laura Anderson Barbata is preparing to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade a living social justice art piece called “Intervention: Indigo” she came up with with 17 other people, including two others from UW.
“It is a reminder and way of bringing back what the symbolism and protection of the color indigo is all about,” Barbata said.
Following the Paris attacks, Barbata said parade security has doubled.
“So everyone has to wear badges. Even if you’re wearing a costume, you have to wear a badge that was given to you by Macy’s,” Barbata said. “We feel safe. We feel there is a lot of protection going on. And we are trusting in these forces, that’s their job to protect everyone.”
The UW performers are scheduled between 9:30 a.m. and 9:50 a.m. Central time. Barbata said “Intervention: Indigo” will showcase the global crisis for people of color.