I was visiting from Europe, where terrorism was a fact of life, and I was scared.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s in Europe, and even beyond, far-left and far-right extremists, the IRA, radical Palestinians, and a variety of other groups carried out thousands of terror attacks, big and small, that left thousands dead or injured.
Jewish, Israeli — and American — sites were targets of some of the most notorious attacks: from the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, to plane and cruise ship hijackings, to attacks on airports, synagogues, and simply places where Jews congregated, such as the Jo Goldenberg kosher deli in Paris, where six died and 22 were wounded in a bloody attack in May 1982.
Following the most recent terror attacks, Jewish and European national leaders have made clear that this is not an option.
It is wise to be on guard, of course, and there is indeed ample cause for alarm — even fear.
But we should also be on guard against something else — against a facile temptation to cry wolf that can all too easily distort alarm into alarmism — and fear into fear-mongering.