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
Sunday, February 29,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 900
900 Days From Ground Zero Terrorism vs. Vigilance
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder