| W H Y T H E B U S :
A universal symbol of public transportation
According to the RAND-MIPT database, in 2001 there were 1,705 terror attacks worldwide. That number grew to 2,642 in 2002. These attacks happen at hotels, theaters, markets, cafes, embassies, discos, churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples. And they happen on buses. Unique among public venues that have been victimized by terror, the commuter bus - the most identifiable symbol of public transportation everywhere in the world - is the one public target that can be transported after terror assault.
EndWorldTerror.com is doing just that.
(The Mineta Transportation Institute recently classified the commuter bus as an internationally recognized symbol of terrorism.)
Buses have been attacked in more than two-dozen countries, so the search for the bus for the exhibition was extensive. Many factors were involved in identifying and choosing the bus for this project, from the human narrative to the physical and structural considerations. And tens of dozens of photographs and case studies of bus attacks were researched for months.
Tragically for its victims, the bus most suited for the EndWorldTerror.com campaign was destroyed by a suicide bomber in Haifa on March 5, 2003.
The bus was on an after school route. And most of the victims were children going home after class. In all, 17 were killed and dozens were injured: Jews, Christians and Muslims. The bombing was horrifically destructive.
According to news accounts, the suicide bomber left a message justifying the terror act as a religious duty, praising the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as inspiration.
The project bought the bus in May 2003 and shipped it through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles, where it arrived two months later. Forensic engineers and technicians in Los Angeles have kept the bus intact, taking special care not to alter it in any way from the way it looked hours after the attack.