"All the news that's fit to print about fighting Terrorism with Vigilance!"



Cliff McKenzie, Editor

OVERVIEW: Terrorism can strike at any moment. It attacked me last night at a open air Saw Doctor concert at Lincoln Center when I was with my children and grandchildren. No one saw the attack. It was a secret attack, blowing up the serenity within me, reminding me that horror and destruction is only an eye blink away.

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1076 DAYS--New York, NY, Saturday, August 21, 2004--
I was attacked by the Beast of Terror last night at the Lincoln Center while watching the Irish band, Saw Doctors, perform to the pleasure of my children and grandchildren.

No one knew I was under attack except my Sentinels of Vigilance who came, again, to my rescue, but not after the old wounds of Terror were split open.

We were enjoying an evening summer concert at Lincoln Center
We were enjoying an evening summer concert at Lincoln Center

It was a beautiful evening. Each summer the Lincoln Center offers outdoor free concerts and music. Last night they featured the Irish band, Saw Doctors, a favorite of my son-in-law who comes from a rich New York Irish heritage.

My wife and I came to the concert from Central Park, where we root for various softball teams all year long. This week is the final playoffs--softball players 'Olympics' where they vie for the "Gold," "Silver" and "Bronze" in their own right.

I was feeling good. Or so I thought.

It had been a strange day. I felt this oppression in my mind, a heavy weight that drove me to sleep most of the day. I wasn't sure if I was feeling sick or just over tired, or, perhaps, anticipating some doom and gloom.

I realized later that I was on the cusp of Terror, bracing myself for yet another attack by the horror and memories of Nine Eleven's third anniversary approach.

I was sitting watching my two-year-old grandson play with his grandmother, enjoying him dancing to the sounds of the Saw Doctor, an Irish Folk Music band, along with his brother, age 8, and his sister, 6 years old.

We were dancing to the music of The Saw Doctors when the Terror began

The sky was filled with lights, windows igniting the sky that shimmer like stars from the skyscrapers looming like spears teasing the underbelly of the heavens. New York is a vertical city that arthritically cranes one neck to appreciate its architectural magnificence.

That was where it began.

I was gazing up into the sky, appreciating the lights and the wonderment of a great city that often reminds me of Babble when arrogant men tried to build structures that would enter the Gates of Heaven.

Then I spotted it.

It was a plane flying across the sky, its lights igniting the dark gray gauze of the evening overcast. The city's lights illuminated its silver underbelly.

I felt the hair on the back of my neck stiffen. My stomach roiled. I had an urge to grab my grandchildren and run to the nearest subway and carry them deep into its bowels to protect them from the impending danger above. Even the subway rats would be a relief to the danger from the sky.

One plane after another inched across the sky above, as though part of a celestial train linked by some invisible threads, pulling and chugging against the force of gravity toward some unseen, unknown destination.

The scene triggered the memory of the morning of September 11, 2001, when I was sitting with my computer at Starbucks near the World Trade Center and heard a strange roar above. I looked up and saw the silver underbelly of a jetliner screaming low in the sky. I tracked it questioningly, wondering why a plane was flying so low over the city. Trouble, I thought?

I witnessed the horror of the planes slamming into the World Trade Center

That moment is frozen in my mind in living color and sound. That moment was a reckoning, a prelude to something that has scarred my soul and cast deep shadows on my primary purpose as an adult, an American, a grandfather, a farther, and a member of the world community.

I witnessed the ensuing horror of that plane, and its allied plane, smashing into the World Trade Center, torpedoing America's sense of security and threatening the lives and sanctuary of our children and their Children's Children's Children.

Last night, that old wound cleaved wide. I felt the scabs split. The infection of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--tools of the Beast of Terror--spread malignantly through my system. I thought perhaps after writing more than 2 million words and posting over 1,000 stories on Terrorism I might find myself braced for any attack, emotional or physical.

But last night I felt powerless, as I did on September 11, three years ago. I looked at my grandchildren laughing and dancing to the music, and the joy on the hundreds upon hundreds of faces savoring the Saw Doctors' wonderful music.

I felt I was the only one in the world who saw the sky was falling. I braced myself to contain those feelings of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.

I called upon the Sentinels of Vigilance to help bolster my Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future generations. It wasn't easy. I found myself gripping the side of the brick wall I was sitting on, clenching my teeth and trying to avert gazing up at the sky and seeing not stars and beauty, but ugliness and horror.

Going home after the concert I didn't speak of the feeling. I thought it had passed until this morning when I awoke with a start. I was blinded by the sun spitting off the underbelly of the plane. I remember the harsh reflection of it striking my face that morning three years ago, like a bully slapping a helpless child just before pushing the child to the ground and kicking it.

I knew I had much work to do on my own Vigilance.

I can't let myself be blinded by the Beast of Terror

And, I wondered how many others have let time evaporate the threat of the Beast of Terror? I feared that if they did, they would forget he is doing pushups in the sky, the bushes, waiting...waiting...waiting for Complacency to bury Vigilance.

I took my Vow of Vigilance this morning. I took it hungrily.

I hoped others would too.



Go To Yesterday's Story "Sentinels Of Vigilance Drive Away The Beast Of Terror In Athens"

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