DC shooting's uneasy familiarity

As the situation unfolds, those who live near the Capitol are experiencing a 'here we go again' feeling


As I'm writing this brief commentary on what I'm sure will be an oft-discussed incident over the next several days, months and years, I'm watching a press conference with Washington, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, the police and fire chiefs, FBI officials and others.

It's clear from their statements that the situation at the Washington Navy Yard remains dynamic and challenging for everyone involved. I'm sure you join me in conveying our thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and friends, the United States Navy, and all of our federal, state, and local colleagues who are still participating in the response and recovery to this tragic event.

Of course, we're also pulling for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer who was wounded in this attack, and the other people who continue receiving medical treatment at local hospitals.

Like so many others around the world, those of us who live and work in the National Capital Region closely followed this incident on television, social media and through other sources. Many of us have friends, neighbors and fellow first responders who work every day at the Navy Yard, or live and visit in the community surrounding the oldest active military facility in our nation. Here, in the week after we commemorated the 12th anniversary of 9/11, the parallels to how that tragedy affected our area, and how this one unfolded, were absolutely eerie.

As if we needed any more reminders of our continued vulnerabilities, many folks had feelings of, "here we go again." At the same time, we saw — once again — the heroic and coordinated response of multiple first responder disciplines, from several jurisdictions (federal, state, and local), across a densely populated area, and with a great deal of continued uncertainty about the nature of the attack.

I expect we'll see more about responding to mass-casualty incidents and active-shooter situations as the details of this day are shared.

But for now, let's be proud of our colleagues on the front lines, hopeful for those still in harm's way, and respectful of those we've lost to this tragedy.

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