Zero Plus 87
Let's Not Shut The Eye Of Vigilance Ever Again
December 7, 1941. I
wasn't to be born until the coming May--May 7th to be exact. Six
months to the date. A half a Year
The 2,403 who died in the Terrorist
attack against our military in Pearl Harbor and at other military targets
in Hawaii represented half of those killed in the September 11 assault on
the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the thwarted plane en route to
the White House.
In Vietnam, I volunteered for every ambush
possible. It made sense to be the "attacker" rather than the "attackee."
In enemy territory I would rather be on an ambush than be ambushed.
I lived with one eye open all the time.
Now, September 11 is a reminder to everyone never
to close the other eye. Over the years we have tried to deal with
Terrorism with pacts and agreements and photo opportunities in the Rose
Garden or at Camp David where opposing factions shook hands and scrawled
meaningless words on paper to boost the polls.
Terrorism used magic ink when it signed anything.
For the moment the ink dried, the signatures disappeared--poof--into the
But worse than the
government trying to mend everyone else's fences, was our own demise as a
Patriotism to me is not
flag waving. It is children protection.
Patriotism is about
protecting the rights of children to be safe, and free, and bountiful.
It's not about gaining "political correctness," or trying to "reinvent
History has two parts.
The Good. And, The Bad. The Right. And
The Wrong. Those who would try and steal the freedom of a people, or
endanger the children of a
Truman Created Poster For Kids
country, or put their own selfish goals ahead of that of future
generations--is a terrorist--not a patriot.
In Waco, Texas, the adults had a
right to choose to die. But they had no right to chose for their
children to be put in harm's way. In America we have
individual rights, but they do not supercede the collective rights.
When the "clear and present danger" looms, individual must sacrifice their
selfishness for selflessness.
The only way to achieve that goal is
to stop and think about what is right for the children. If
patriotism is sneered upon by our society as being something "bad" because
we have a strong military, or an aggressive attitude toward preserving
freedom around the world, then those who sneer must step back and look at
the future of their children if the doors to their homes are left
unlocked, if the children are allowed to walk home unescorted from school,
if we turn our backs on those who abuse children, or threaten their future
emotional or physical welfare.
Patriotism is not about bragging how
many people we killed, or how many countries we have conquered, or how
many wars we have won. Patriotism is about instilling freedom where
tyranny once roamed free.
Both in Europe through the Marshall Plan,
and in Japan after the war, we poured money, resources and technology into
those defeated nations and boosted their ability to grow and become rich,
healthy countries interconnected by trade and economic power. We did
not "conquer" anyone. We set many free.
Yet that which made us great got lost over
the past sixty years.
What made us great was an old flag we once
used in this country that was emblazed with the words: "Don't Tread
On Me." Another was the words of Teddy Roosevelt who
said: "Walk softly and carry a big stick."
Both sayings symbolized
Patriotism is "vigilance."
It is the a priori knowledge
that there are "good" and "bad" in the world.
And, if you don't police the "bad" it will consume
the "good." That's all it's about.
The events of September
11 shocked us into remembering we are vulnerable.
It destroyed our complacency. It made us sit up
and open the other eye we had closed.
For the children's
sake, let's not go to sleep again. Let's say the
words, "Semper Vigilantes"--Always Vigilant.
And mean them this time.
To: "The Spirit Of The Hero's Blood, Spirit And Prosperity
Still Flies Proudly"
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