No Terror In Kid's Halloween
 Vigilance Story Synopsis: "No Terror In Halloween Parade For Parents of Vigilance." Terrorism is challenged at NYC children's Halloween Parade.   Parents of Vigilance surround children, warning the Beast of Terror he isn't welcome.   Children are witnesses of World Trade Center attack, in East Village of New York City.   They  learn the "dead" are still alive--as Spirits of Vigilance.  The Spirits help offer them more Courage than Fear, more Conviction than Intimidation, and Right Action.


Friday--November 1
, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 415
No Terror In Halloween
Parents of Vigilance Parade
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, Nov. 1 --Terrorism didn't have a chance last night during the East Village annual "Parents of Vigilance" Halloween parade.

         Hundreds of parents and children donned masks and costumes and assembled in front of the local red-bricked school in the heart of the East Village last night, and, with police escort, we wended our way up 2nd Avenue to Tompkins Park where salsa music and conga lines greeted parents, kids and family in a display of community vigilance known to those who live in the madding crunch of concrete big city life.    

Baby Beluga Whale

        I had never marched in the parade before.   My wife was fully costumed, as were our three grandchildren--Matt as the Rescue Hero Rip Rockefeller, Sarah as Cinderella, and baby Angus had his homemade marvelously magical Baby Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) costume to keep him warm on the crisp last day of October.
      It was a debarkation from last year, when the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center still perfumed the air with the pungent smell of burning flesh, and the gagging ash thick with the musk of the Beast of Terror.

        It had been over thirteen months since the children of the East Village had their lives uprooted by life's cruel reality that some stranger from another land could swoop down from the sky and kill their friends fathers, mothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins.    I remember Matt telling his parents that they should invite some of the children over to their house for Christmas to share toys and joy, because they didn't have a "Mommy," or a "Daddy," and they were probably, "sad."

      I remember little Sarah's story of tears when the candle altar in the nail shop window she went to see each day after school stopped displaying the candles and returned to normal.   She teared up, sad that the memorial had vanished, as though in her childish heart the flames of the flickering candle held hope that all would be well again for those whose lives had been Terrorized by Nine Eleven.
     Last night was also the Eve of the Day of the Dead.

        The East Village has a dominant Hispanic culture, and is rich in respect for it heritage.   Mixed in with the more urban Halloween decor, were flags and banners and skeletons celebrating the Day of the Dead, a two-day event that occurs on first and second days of November.
      On the Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos, the dead join the living in a festival which originated in the prehispanic past. The original celebration can be traced to the festivities held during the Aztec month of Miccailhuitontli, ritually presided by the goddess Mictecacihuatl ("Lady of the Dead"), and dedicated to children and the dead. 
The ninth and tenth months of the year on the ancient Aztec calendar were dedicated to the dead. After the Spanish conquest, priests attempted to Christianize the celebration by moving it to correspond with All Saints’ Day (Día de Todos Santos). Consequently, the modern festival occurs on the first two days of November and combines elements of both Aztec and Christian custom.
Observance of this holiday varies from town to town, and is most traditional in areas of southern Mexico where Indian influence is strongest. Customary observance of Día de los Muertos is likely to include:

 making of altares (altars) filled with ofrendas (offerings) such as fruits, flowers, incense, candles, hot chocolate, pan de muertos (bread of the dead), as well as photographs of the dead and some of their favorite food
      --feasting, visiting, gifting
      --church attendance
      --cleaning and decorating family graves
      --eating and keeping company with the dead in the cemetery

          Culturally, I liked the Day of the Dead.   It was a reinforcement that the Sentinels of Vigilance live in the minds of the Vigilant.  And, most importantly, it connects the children to the spirits of those who have passed from earthly life.   It reminds them they are "protected" beyond life.
            Certainly, for children in New York City who were witnesses to the tragedy of Nine Eleven it had a special meaning, as it must for any child who has lost a loved one--a grandparent, parent, uncle or aunt--to know that their spirits are near them, within reach.
           As a "child of Terror," I know the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency of feeling alone, separated, abandoned from any "protection."   It is a frightening feeling to feel such inner loneliness.   

          When I saw the skeletons being paraded, I understood what they meant.  For me, they were the Sentinels of Vigilance, reminders that the thousands lost on September 11 had been found, that they were as alive as we wished to believe they were.

      I thought of the cycle between life and death, and how the Day of the Dead was about keeping it alive, respecting the spirits of the departed, honoring them with food and gifts and fiestas where families and friends brought their memories back to earth.
           I was glad my grandchildren could experience these feelings, and see how the many cultures of the world kept in touch with the Spirits of Vigilance in their own ways.   I wanted them to always know there were other forces watching over them, helping them have more Courage than Fear, guiding them to seek more Conviction than Intimidation, and urging them to take Right Action rather than crumble into a pile of Complacency and powerlessness over situations and events that might oppress their Vigilant wills.
           The Day of the Dead became for me, The Day of the Sentinels of Vigilance.
           Following the parade, we walked up and down the streets of the East Village.  Instead of knocking on people's doors, the children rush into the delis, pharmacies, stationary stores and alcove restaurants lining the streets to trick or treat.   It is a far cry from the suburban trick and treating our children did in Laguna Niguel, California, but the effect is the same--a bright orange plastic pumpkin full of candy.

Community Trick or Treat-ing


          Most importantly was the community of children.   All the kids in the neighborhood seemed to know one another, and most of the parents also.   It is a rare moment in a highly urban city like New York to see such a gathering of parents and children, all bound as one family community unit out to protect their children.

       I took scads of pictures of the kids going into the stores getting their plastic pumpkins filled with booty from the night.  Then we went to our daughter's and son-in-law's apartment where they went through the candy to double check its safety before letting the kids have their "special pieces," the limited ones they were allowed.  Matt, naturally picked the "chocolate eyeball."

        On the way home, we walked slowly in the night.  A few children were still scurrying in and out of the local storefronts, gleefully gathering their sweets.
         I looked up into the clear blue-black night, stars shining and moon illuminated.

         I could see the skeletons of the Sentinels of Vigilance, all aglitter, decorated with flowers and colorful ribbons, dancing in the sky, reminding us all to both respect the living and dead, for they are one, all here to protect the children from the Beast of Terror--who, last night, was driven from the East Village by the Parents and Spirits of Vigilance.





Oct 31--CIA's Halloween Terrorist Report

©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design