Boy, are we in a minority. At least, it sure seems that way.
To judge from network and cable television shows, the public in the United States is fed up with the Transportation Safety Administration. Last year, a clip of an "intrusive" pat-down of a little girl was the video of the week on cable.
The implication was our airport screeners enjoy groping children.
Well, we returned from a quick trip to the Mainland and the admiration we have felt for TSA inspectors was reinforced once again. As always, the inspectors on Maui were fast, efficient and courteous. And, oh yeah, friendly.
At a larger airport on the Mainland, we had our first contact with a full body scan. It only took a few seconds and all the TSA agents - including the one who had to do a follow-up pat-down - couldn't have been more professional or kind.
(Note: Apparently, droopy skin dangling from old men's arms looks like ammo belts to a full body scanner. No other explanation for the follow-up pat-down we endured. And we can say with a degree of certainty the agent doing our pat-down enjoyed it even less than we did.)
We were traveling with a woman with artificial joints and she endured more thorough pat-downs than we did. But, each time the agent doing them explained the need and apologized for the intrusion.
As we've written here before, the people charged with protecting the traveling public have a very tough job. It makes us angry when we see folks on TV shouting, "If you touch my junk, I'll sue!"
It truly seems a segment of our population has forgotten the events of 9/11. There is no way of knowing how many attacks have been thwarted by the TSA or the mere knowledge that would-be terrorists will be confronted by their agents if they try to board an airplane.
So, from one lonely voice in the wilderness, thanks, TSA, workers for the tremendous job you do.
(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.