The VigilanceVoice
Monday... February 4, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 146

The Positive And Negative Ground Zero
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

          GROUND ZERO, New York City--Ground Zero!  The epicenter.  The ultimate target. 
           In military terms, Ground Zero is the center of all destruction, or, the center of victory.   In Hiroshima, there is a shrine to Ground Zero where the first atomic bomb was dropped, a devastating exclamation of destruction which led to the end of World War II and the dawning of a new world of nuclear terrorism, as well as nuclear efficiency.
           September 11th, Ground Zero was the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and were it not for the brave passengers who charged the terrorists, perhaps the White House.
          Recent intelligence released over the media has touted Ground Zero targets to be nuclear power plants, bridges, and icons such as the Statue of Liberty and other symbols of democracy and freedom.
         But there is another Ground Zero.  It is our emotions.   Our viewpoints.  Our perspective on this "War Against Terrorism."
         This "Ground Zero" is the center of our fears, our intimidations, and, perversely, our complacencies.   Ultimately, it is the true target of Terrorism.   The physical targets are secondary Ground Zeros, just as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in World War II.    The purpose of those bombs that killed indiscriminately thousands of innocent women, children and civilians were designed to strike fear, emboss intimidation, and force the resignation of the "will to fight" into a state of complacency so that the people who waged war would surrender their swords.
        Emotionally, I've suffered many Ground Zeros.  I assume others have too.  Many " bombs" have gone off in the center of my "emotional being."  If I look hard, I can see the scars of them all--giant holes in my soul from dashed expectations, failures to reach perfection, and pains I've suffered from trying to conquer life--to find ultimate happiness, serenity and security.   These Ground Zeros come in two kinds--Positive Ground Zeroes and Negative Ground Zeros.   The Positive Ground Zeroes--the result of some disaster in my life from which I recovered--have strengthened my character by giving me courage to face them and conviction to believe in the future in spite of the past.  I was driven by these events, empowered to act to overcome them.  Some I did, some I didn't. 
         Negative Ground Zeroes have driven me deep into a quagmire of self-pity and self-depreciation;  some others have left me feeling naked and intimidated because of lack of self-worth.  The most insidious of my Negative Ground Zeros has been complacency where I forced my will to surrender to the fears and intimidations of the situation or events.  Often, I broke my sword and bowed in defeat before life itself, powerless and resigned I was  "nobody" and a "nothing," and that my dreams were just fodder.
        When I think of a Negative Ground Zero that became Positive, I think of Japan.
         After World War II, one of the conditions of surrender was the elimination of the national flag--the Rising Sun.  It symbolized Japan's aggressive appetite to conquer all in its evolutionary path.  It was a patriotic reminder that each new day was dedicated to the growth of the nation, even if that meant attacking and enslaving others.
        Today, the Japanese flag is a simple red circle on a field of white.   It suggests simplicity rather than aggression. And it diverts the militaristic thrust of Japan toward a more constructive and humane technological leadership.  Per capita wealth in Japan rivals that of the U.S.  It went from one of the most impoverished nations to one of the most powerful in a single generation.  Out of the ashes of destruction rose the sun.
         I see the Rising Sun, not as a symbol of aggression, but a sign of evolution.   I also see Emotional Terrorism as an eclipse of Hope; it shuts out the vision to the future.  As a child, I grew up in an emotional vacuum.  At least, that was my take on it.  My mother would disagree, but then she isn't me, or my eyes, or my heart.
         Terrorism struck my family in creepy, insidious ways.  Arguments, fights, verbal and physical abuse and the fear of emotional loneliness, abandonment--all drove me into caves where I hid out with my secrets, afraid, as bin Laden, to stick his head out for fear it would get blown off.
         My witness of the death and destruction of Ground Zero at the Twin Towers made me aware of the importance of a Positive Ground Zero.  As death's shroud hung over my head, I thought of the Rising Sun.  Out of the mass destruction happening around me, I sought to see something worthy in its insanity, something to neutralize its horror and the pain and anguish it brought to our nation, and the thousands of loved ones and relatives who died that day.
         Instead of cowering in fear, or being intimidated I was only one man, with one Voice and ten fingers which might drive me to a state of feeling helpless, unable to make any changes or differences in the world--I vowed to act in the face Terror.
        I saw in my flashing life as the Towers crumbled and debris shot past us, and people cried "we're all going to die," that Ground Zero could be Positive or Negative for me.   I could become embittered at our nation's leaders for not having the security to thwart such an event happening, or lash out at God for neglecting his flock, or want to hunt down the Terrorists and kill them out of revenge and retribution.
      Instead, I elected to write The Terrorism Diaries.   I chose to find the good in the horror of it all--the lesson from which all suffering teaches, if we are willing to look for it.
      My lesson was Vigilance.
      My sword became the pen.
     I chose to expand the impact of Terrorism at Ground Zero on September 11 to the Terrorism a child feels when he or she isn't loved, or cared for, or is abused, or feels alienated, disenfranchised.   I chose to recognize the duty and obligation of a parent is to become a Parent Of Vigilance, not only to secure the physical safety of the family, but also the emotional.
      Ground Zero for me today is a sprig of hope struggling up through the rubble and twisted metal, searching for life in the tomb of death.

Go To Diary--Feb. 3--Patriots vs. The Terrorists

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