Richard Reid tried to destroy an airliner… with a bomb hidden in his shoe. December 22, 2001 could have continued the national nightmare begun on 9/11. Brave members of the flight crew and passengers from American Airlines flight 63 subdued (and forcibly sedated) Reid, preventing disaster. Reid, a self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda operative, tried to light a crude explosive device smuggled in his shoe. American authorities were able to link the plot to Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, the mastermind of 9/11.
Much of the scorn is directed at the TSA and the seemingly ridiculous series of security checks which must be navigated. In 2012, removing shoes is one of the most ridiculed of the security measures. December 22, 2001 and Richard Reid have faded from our collective memory. Perhaps a bit of remembrance will remind us all that a minor inconvenience like removing shoes is worth the trouble.