Article Overview:   The 8 million people of New York City are braced for Terrorists.  Even though some may call Manhattan Terror Island, it is really Vigilant Island.    Find out how tough New Yorkers can be when the Beast of Terror roars.


Friday--May 23, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 618
Terror Island--Manhattan
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City--Terror Island is the number one target for the next Terror attack.   This Memorial Day will be the second time the city of eight million have turned the other cheek to Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.    And, I'll be one of those who stands at the prow of the ship, telling the Terrorists to get out of the way.
        Last year, the Terrorists threatened to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty (The Lady in the Harbor is 101 feet tall from base to torch, 305 feet tall from pedestal foundation to torch. She has a 35-foot waist and an 8-foot index finger, and she weighs 450,000 pounds) and other icons that stand as the doorway to freedom and opportunity.

Tourists still in the grips of Terrorism's claws refused to come to NYC

       Still in the grips of Terrorism's claws, tens of thousands of tourists staved off a trip to the Big Apple, nervous that their lives would be endangered.
        I took a challenge from Mayor Bloomberg that year, and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, hopped on the ferry that took the brave of heart to the Statue of Liberty and strolled through the thin crowds interviewing people on why they chose to shove their heads into the jaws of the Beast of Terror.
        To a person, their response was a bold slap to Terrorism's face.  "We can't show fear," one man with his family told me.  "I want our children to know you can't be afraid of a bully."
        It was an impressive day for me.   As a combat veteran with more than 100 forays into enemy territory under my belt, I was familiar with the risk one takes to confront an enemy whose goal in life is to stack up bodies and then boast about them--regardless of whether they were women, children, innocents or just bystanders.
        My belief in Vigilance was reinforced that day, as it is today.
        This is Fleet Week in Manhattan.

        A swarm of American naval might sailed up the Hudson River yesterday and are docked near the U.S.S. Intrepid.   The ships are open to public inspection and veterans of the recent war in Iraq will be on hand.
        But Terror Island stands defiant.

U.S. Marines from the U.S.S. Shreveport's decks salute the site of the World Trade Center                

        Manhattan Island has a population of 1.5 million, compared with 2.5 million in Brooklyn, 2.2 in Queens, 1.3 in the Bronx, and 444,000 in Staten Island.   The five boroughs make up New York City.
         Terrorists like New York because it has more than 550 miles of waterfront, 4,373 buses and 5,811 subway cars that travel over 656 miles of track and haul 1.3 billion passengers per year.   Plus, there are more than 11,000 yellow cabs.
         Getting in and out of the city is not a tough task.
         But striking Fear in New Yorkers is.
         Anyone who was in the city immediately following the Terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 knows the resolve of millions of people from all different backgrounds who came together as one body, despite ethnic and cultural differences.
         Terror Island became Vigilant Island.
          I sense the same strength today, a year past.
          New York is known to have brass knuckles on its tongue, and often New Yorkers are accused of being tough, calloused people.

New Yorkers have brass knuckles on their tongues

         That may be partly true in the daily hustle and bustle of getting from point A to point B, but when it comes to the community being threatened by outside forces, the brass knuckles shift from tongue to fists.
          New Yorkers are ready for anyone today who threatens Vigilance Island.
          While they may not have all take the Pledge of Vigilance we offer, I believe they've taken their own Pledge of Vigilance by remaining in the city.
          The millions of people who live and work in the city have a choice not to.   They all know the Terrorists are just street bullies, seeking to spread Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  
          Terror Island may be open territory for Terrorists, but the inhabitants of the island aren't.   When push comes to shove, the Terrorists will find New Yorkers Sentinels of Vigilance, and Terror Island a brass knuckled rock more appropriately called Vigilant Island.


May 22--American Idol of Terrorism or Vigilance

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