The VigilanceVoice

Sunday- March 10, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 180

Nine Eleven--Birthday Of Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 10--The world is preparing to remember the six-month anniversary of the Terrorist attack on America tomorrow.   It will be 182 days from that date, 262,080 minutes from 8:46 a.m., September 11, 2001.
        I will wait a day to honor the dead, wounded--the ravaged families, the torn loved ones.   I do not count September 11 as a "day."   I call it Ground Zero.
       Zero is a starting point.  
       In my mind, September 11 is a "frozen day."
       It exists outside of time, separate from the calendar, isolated from all the other 365 days of the year.   To put it into a "day of the year" to me is to sandwich it as "one among many."  I can't do that.
      Ground Zero is a unique entity.   It was the beginning of a new era, the Era of Vigilance.   One day history will note the demarcation of that day from all other calendar events.   History will ink it in as the launch of a time when all men and women around the civilized globe of the 21st Century were drawn together under a common umbrella, when differences were put aside as the world saw that all were threatened by the few.
       Had the Terrorists been Martians, or some form of space aliens who attacked the world, there would be little difference in history's underscoring of the event.   Alien forces were unleashed, making all nations cower in fear, just as they might if a space ship full of "outer-space" warriors had shot photon torpedoes at earth.
       The safety of civilization came to risk.
       Nations which believed that advanced technology and modernization would separate them from the cave dwellers of horror were given a fierce blow to the groin.    Executives wallowing in the luxury of penthouses high atop the concrete mass below, captains of industry who rule the world of power and might, rushed to buy parachutes in case their offices were bombed, their towering monoliths were threatened.
       The Neanderthals of history had awakened.
       They shook the foundations of safety and security around the world, reminding everyone that a David could in fact cripple a Goliath.

David and Goliath

       This was a hallmarking event.
       Man's and woman's rush to "globalize" the world, to interlink it with commerce so that each nation depended greatly on the other for peaceful coexistence, exploded into rubble as the Twin Towers crashed in to themselves, spewing rubble throughout a world that believed it was "above attack."
       Major nations who had trimmed their nuclear missiles and reached across the bargaining table to end the threat of a worldwide holocaust saw a small but fierce group of men bring the world to its knees in fear and intimidation that they too might become targets of small bands of "road warriors" who belonged to no particular country, but whose agenda included the destruction of civilization.
       These assassins live in caves, have built cities underground to stave off modern bombs, and jump from one country to another owning everything and nothing.   Their mission is to show the civilized world how uncivilized it can become in mere seconds.
       Across the planet, 10 billion people shudder when they think about a gang of heathens releasing bio threats such as smallpox, or setting off dirty nuclear bombs that would destroy the productivity of great nations, killing millions indiscriminately, upsetting the balance of power and economic fragility of a world that has grown so interdependent that a cause in one sector of the world has a rippling effect on another--and in many cases causing a tidal wave of destruction.
       These shadows of man's beastly nature are called Terrorists.
       Every country has them.
      They are both individuals and organizations which gain power from creating Fear, Intimidation and Complacency among the citizens of a nation-state. They have no compunction about killing women, children, civilians--or, in destroying institutions which grind away at keeping the world balanced, needing every other nation's input and support to build a better world for all.
       China's mad rush to modernize its nation is one small example.  Another is Russia's blistering need to repair its infrastructure and align itself with the powers of the modern world.  The Internet, linking average citizens of all walks of life in a communication village where a teenager in Africa can talk to a teenager in America or Europe or Asia, drives down walls of separation that have for centuries made a person see only a small vision of the majestic beauty of a world seeking to rid itself of war, petulance, hunger, disunion.
       September 11 marks the end of that dream of unity.
       It separates the goal over the past two millenniums of nations and cultures--once divided by language and customs--seeking peace in a world of turmoil.
       Terrorists reminded the world on Nine Eleven that the greatest powers on earth are useless entities when it comes to protecting the earth from those who wish to destroy its advancement.   Evolution has been halted, stunned, knocked senseless by the events of the Second Tuesday of September, 2001.
       Each is scrambling to identify its internal threats, and rushing to figure out how to protect itself from external assault.
       The result is a dizzying dance with reality.
       No one expected the Davids to cripple Goliaths--not in 2001 at least.
      Leaders of equal sized nations as America are scratching their heads, wondering how and when and why any group of Terrorists can gain any power out of the abuse of power.  
       Strangely, the strategy of Terrorism is to destroy power, not gain it.   It seeks to level modern society down to a cave-man mentality--to level the playing field so that one nation's might is nothing more than a mosquito on an elephant's ass.
       Most nations have more to lose than to gain by abusing their power.   Terrorists don't, because they have no nation.   Terrorists act out of some primordial sludge, some amoebic reasoning which howls at anything advanced, and seeks to sink its teeth into the ripe belly of those who have gotten fat off the land.
       It is the world of the "have-nots" threatening the world of the "halves!"   Terrorism seeks to strip naked the shields of people's security, and disembowel its technology to show how vulnerable it is to the primitive, to the un-advanced.
       Terrorism is the Beast Of Mankind set loose in the 21st Century, using the tools of modernization to destroy the peace and harmony the world had been working to achieve for thousands of years.

        That's why I count the days from September 11th as Ground Zero Plus One, Plus Two, Plus Fifty, Plus a hundred until I reach March 12th, which will be Ground Zero Plus 182 Days.   I have extracted September 11 as the Day of Vigilance, the birth of a new way in which civilization must act toward each other and its Terroristic enemies.
       Modern weapons and strategies cannot kill Terrorism.  If they could, bin Laden and his gang of global thugs would be dead, their heads marched around the world atop stakes for all to see.
       Terrorism isn't, however, like any enemy we have ever fought before.  It is the shadow of the Beast within us all come to life.
      Terrorism's message means that unless we can tame and civilize the beast within us, all the madness attempting to corral it outside ourselves is as futile as spitting into the face of hurricane.
      Ground Zero is the birthday of a new way of thinking and acting for modern man and woman.   Its purpose, I believe, is to drive us back into ourselves in search of those elements of human character which civilized trappings cannot appease.
      The Terrorists have only shown us that we can build great monoliths to human achievement that are shallow, faceless facades which crumble when shoved upon.    They have told us that until we take the time to "Tame The Beast Within," trying to create an empire of modernization is a waste of time.
      Technology has driven us deeper and deeper into a state of selfishness.   It has lured us into thinking that comfort and ease in our lives provides us with leisure and qualities that make our lives better, our children's lives better.
      Nothing could be farther from the truth.
      We kill our young--in America, 1.3 million per year are aborted--a travesty to the "value of life."   We divorce at rates exceeding half of all marriage--another travesty to the commitment one human being makes to another.  We churn through human labor as though people were cogs in wheels, building masses and mountains of money for a few and then stripping the others of their dreams, as Enron has recently shown.
      We abuse our children by having no "time for them," creating in some the desire to kill their peers in suicide missions at local schools.   Our society seeks to numb the pain of modernization by ingesting drugs and alcohol in excessive amounts, and to parade ourselves as "free spirits" with "rights" which become nothing more than excuses for irresponsible behavior toward others, allowing us to disenfranchise ourselves from one another in political, religious, social and economic tiers that have no common linkage, no human ingredient to them that would make them glow with human pride.  
      What have we missed in our equation of evolution?  What is the missing link that would heal the gap between our selfishness and our selflessness?   What would bind us all as one, the Beast and the Civilized, who could coexist under one global, universal, galactic roof?
       I submit it is to become a Citizen of Vigilance.
       I offer that Ground Zero was a day of reckoning for mankind and womankind.
      I propose that the events of September 11th spell out a message that unless we heed it, we will lose its purpose.
      It is about the creating, or recreation of human character on common ground.
      It is about learning how to balance Fear with Courage, Intimidation with Conviction, and Complacency with Action.
      Human effort can only pay off if human goals have value.

       When each of us follows one Golden Rule, embraces one set of standards to diminish the Beast Within Us, then and only then can we begin to control the Terrorism that lurks in us all.
     Hitlers and Osama bin Ladens will not stop growing.  Their seeds will not stop being planted.  Their Beasts will not be killed by bombs and bullets.
     But they can be corralled before they are set loose.
     When society teaches a child, through his or her parents or loved ones, how to battle emotional fears, intimidations and complacencies with the Three Shields Of Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Action--then we will find the common ground to "Tame The Beast Within Ourselves & Others."   The great hunter thinks like the hunted, and to think like the hunted, one needs to know the hunted as well as one knows himself or herself. 
     Vigilance will be long in coming unless a few embrace it, believe it, are willing to risk their lives for its promulgation--and I do not mean physical lives, I mean emotional lives.
    There is a great personal sacrifice necessary to become a Citizen of Vigilance.  It means one has to stop and think about whether the decision he or she is about to make is good or bad for the Children of Vigilance.
     Terrorism is not a good decision.
     If a Terrorist were to ask the question:  "Is the destruction of the World Trade Center an act of Vigilance in behalf of all the children of the world, not just my own, but all of them?" then perhaps such a disaster would have never happened.
    If a parent rushing home from work to pop a Budweiser and flick on the television to watch a favorite TV. show were, instead, to rush home and sit down with his or her child, and enter that child's world with the express intent of helping the child fortress his or her fears, intimidations and complacencies, there would be far less abortions, far less divorces, and far less people seeking to numb the pain of abuse and neglect.
     Ground Zero.
     It is a day of reckoning.
     It is the birthday of the Pledge of Vigilance!
    Don't wait.  Take it today!
    Become a Citizen of Vigilance, a Parent of Vigilance, a Loved One Of Vigilance. 

     Go To Mar. 9--Vigilance & Going Into The Bathroom

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