Article Overview:    It has been 900 days since I was at Ground Zero and witnessed the birth of the Sentinels of Vigilance.  But over that time, has the desire to be Vigilant come under attack?  Are we slipping into a State of Complacency?   Is the shift from Vigilance to Complacency making us and our children more vulnerable to the Beast of Terror?  And if so, what can we do about it?   Find out.


Sunday, February 29, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 900
900 Days From Ground Zero Terrorism vs. Vigilance

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 29, 2004 -- Today is the 900th Day of Vigilance.    To some, it is the 900th Day of Terrorism.   Both are accurate.

Good cannot exist without the threat of evil

                      Vigilance cannot exist without the presence or threat of Terrorism.   And Terrorism cannot exist with the hope of Vigilance, just as evil cannot exist without the possibility of good, or good without the threat of evil.
                          So it flows that Terrorism's components--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency cannot exist without their counterparts in the parallel Vigilance universe--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children.
                In many ways, Terrorism/Vigilance,or,Vigilance/Terrorism are the yin and yang of human existence, the protons and neutrons that create the gravity of human thought and force human morality and compassion to overcome the thirst to be primal and selfish.

American soldiers are willing to die in Iraq

                  Why else would human beings travel thousands of miles to foreign lands to give their lives for the freedom of strangers?    In Iraq, American soldiers are willing to die for people who have never voted in a true democratic election.   This tends to run in direct violation of the primal directive which says:  "save yourself first."
                 Human beings have evolved into Sentinels of Vigilance not only for themselves but for all living creatures.    Despite all the fumbling and mistakes, humans strive for a world without conflict, without war, without devastation to the innocent.
                 No other creature on earth cries over the death of other creatures.   Even the wolverine, one of the most vicious of all beasts pound-for-pound, doesn't lie awake at night dreaming up ways to protest for peace in the animal kingdom.    If anything, he sharpens his claws and fangs and gnaws on the "survival of the fittest" bone.
                Over the past 900 days I have become somewhat of an expert on the battle between Vigilance and Terrorism.   I have witnessed the Triads of Terrorism-- Fear, Intimidation and Complacency-- take many forms and shapes since my experience at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001.
                I have also seen the Principles of Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for Future Generations--overpower Terrorism's hunger to consume its targets through attrition.
                 Perhaps the battle of Terrorism vs. Vigilance is most evident today as the National Elections grow close.   The platform for electing a new leader in America or keep the present one will rotate on the axis of Terrorism.   Will the American voting public look at the threat of Global Terrorism as greater than or lesser than the need for Domestic Vigilance.

Will America's concern over Domestic Issues override the War on Terrorism?

                  Put another way, will the War on Terrorism be of more or less concern to Americans than the economy and domestic issues?    Will selflessness or selfishness rule?   
                   The trouble with Vigilance as a sustaining effort is the price one has to pay for it.    That price is taking the Pledge of Vigilance and Vowing Vigilance daily.  It means when faced with Fear we muster Courage to overcome it, or when standing in the shadow of Intimidation we rally our Conviction to step into the sunlight and face our truths.  And, finally, that when we think we are powerless or inept to change the course of events, or too tired and worn to try, and we fall Complacent to the threats of Terrorism in all its nefarious forms, we need to think of what is the Right Action that will benefit future generations, our Children's Children's Children.   We need to be driven not by our selfish desire to "not get involved" but our selfless instincts to protect the innocent from harm.
                     Thomas Jefferson said:   "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."   That's a big job--"eternal vigilance."   It means we think "Vigilance Thoughts" all day and all night.   It means we must be able to recognize a "Terror Thought" in a blink of an eye, and counter it with a Vigilant Thought, for if we don't, eventually the Terror Thoughts will rule our lives.   We will become more Fearful, more Intimidated by, and driven to more and more Complacency as time turns life into ruts from which we cannot escape.             

Attacks are being launched upon the credibility of the President

                          In many ways, the attitude of the American public today is representative of a shift toward Complacency.   The polls are dropping away from favor for the War on Terrorism to disfavor of it.    Attacks are being launched on the credibility of the President and his justifications for launching war on Iraq, and upon his character as a "warrior."
                         The campaign is all about "Terrorizing" the "TerrorHunter."   The more "evil" and "corrupt" the TerrorHunter (President. Bush) is made out to be, the more the rug of TerrorHunting is pulled from under him.    His opponents flog him for "wasting" American lives and money and national priorities in Iraq when they could be better spent here in America on health care and economic revitalization.
                         Unless America is attacked in some way, shape or form prior to the election, there is a great danger the people of this country may have put the role of "eternal vigilance" to the side.
                          We did after Pearl Harbor.  We did after the first World Trade Center Attack in 1993.   Why wouldn't we now?

We must become "eternally vigilant" to fight Terrorism

                         Perhaps the answer to that question requires that we make a personal commitment to Vigilance, and not just a political one.   If we see ourselves as Sentinels of Vigilance protecting our children and their Children's Children's Children from the dangers of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, we become proactive in the battle against Terrorism.   We become "eternally vigilant."
                           Who would turn their backs on their children?  On their loved ones?  Who would throw the future generations to the wolves?
                           The answer is Complacent Parents.   Selfish parents.  
                          After 900 days of battling the Beast of Terror in many different venues, I am more convinced than ever that his greatest weapon is time.   He will lull us into a sense of not of false security but of Complacent Indifference.   

We need to see clearly The Face of The Beast

                       That's why we need to see his face as clearly as we see the sun and moon rise.    We need to translate the War on Terrorism into the War on Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.    These elements, which conspire to make Terrorism, never leave us.   We see them each day in the mirror, in how we react to certain situations, in our children and loved ones, slashed across the headlines of papers.   
                         On this 900th Day of Vigilance, more than ever before, we need to take the Pledge of Vigilance and reinstall our Vows of Vigilance.
                          The reason:  The Beast of Terror takes his vows with every breath.   He follows another saying:  "Eternal Terrorism is the price of slavery."
                          Be Free!  Free your children.  Free your Children's Children's Children.   Take the Pledge of Vigilance today, and every day.

Feb 28--Terrorism Induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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