The VigilanceVoice
Sunday-- May 26, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 257

Taking A Walk Of Vigilance
On The Brooklyn Bridge
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City, May 26--I like it when a man speaks the truth about fighting Terrorism.   New York's Mayor Bloomberg did just that when he angrily chided Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz for canceling the 119th birthday bash slated for June 2.
        "Terrorists want us to show fear," Bloomberg said.  "We should stand up to them, not hide from their threats."
         FBI uncorroborated information said attacks were planned against New York and its landmarks, including the bridge, the Statue of Liberty and City Hall.   To prove his point, the mayor visited the Statue of Liberty on Saturday (May 25).
        While there are arguments to not gather near landmarks for fear of inviting Terrorist attacks, there are equal points to be made to show Terrorists that the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency they seek is impotent.
        Terrorism is just as happy with the cancellation of the celebration as it would be blowing up the bridge.   Its goal is Fear and Intimidation.   Its victory is the defeat of Confidence, the lack of Courage, and the weeds of Complacency that choke off Vigilance when people shy from the boasts of bullies.
         In political retaliation to Bloomberg's comments, Markowitz claims the reason he cancelled the celebration was that the police refused to allow fireworks at the event.   I wished he had stuck with the excuse he was afraid of the Terrorists, for the fireworks is a flimsy excuse, one that wobbles on the edge of pandering to the public for political alms.  
        But I'm not here to deride people's choices, but rather to suggest the dangers of buckling to the Terrorists' goals--to Intimidate, to inject Fear, to drive our society into Complacent hiding.   And, I'm here to promote the need to shove out our chests against the bullies, to band together as a unified whole against their nefarious tactics, which, unchecked and unanswered with Vigilance, strangle our hopes of conquering their threats.
       As individuals and as a society, we must not let Terrorism's smallest grain of sand clog our Wheels of Vigilance.   Little acts of Terror must be dealt with just as giant ones.   If we let the roots of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency creep into our existence and grow, they suffocate our decisions to stand tall.  
       When we look in the mirror and see something about ourselves we don't like, we can't afford to not stop that Terroristic thought.  If we continue to berate our appearance, or our life as an individual, or what we think of ourselves, we succumb to the Terror of self-incrimination, self-demeanment, self-flagellation.   We begin to cower at our own shadow, wishing we were someone else, fearful we will continue to be the "ugliness" we see, or the "defect" that mars our beauty, our right as a human being to be proud of who we are.
      Buckling to External Terrorism simply means we have little Internal Vigilance.   Internal Vigilance demands we fight the Terrorism both from without and within.
      I continue to believe the Terrorist attack on September 11th was the opening of a door to fighting the Terrorism within us all.    It was a shocking, horrible club on our heads designed to awaken us all to the tiny Acts of Vigilance that will free us from lives of Emotional Bondage.
      The loss of thousands of lives on that day represent to me a message for all of us to stand up to Terrorism within ourselves.   If we boldly recognize that Terrorism exists within us, in the form of our negative attitudes first toward ourselves, and secondly toward others, it should enrage us to fight their incursions, to battle their forces.
      The Pledge of Vigilance has been designed to force us to think in terms of our children, and their children's children.    By removing ourselves one step from our own self, we become less afraid of acting in Vigilant ways because we are operating at a higher order--we are giving something of value to others.
       This helps us think about our own Terrorisms.   Only by fighting our own Emotional Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies can we help others fight theirs.  If we commit to the eradication of Terrorism in our children, grandchildren and loved ones, the motivation to heal our own Emotional Enemies is reinforced.   Selflessness replaces selfishness.  The whole becomes greater than the part.
        That's why the Brooklyn Bridge birthday cancellation was saddening.  It meant Terrorism won another battle.   It meant that selfishness throttled selfishness.
         The child who was looking forward to the celebration must be told by his or her parents that the Terrorists stopped the birthday party.   A child now wonders who can protect it from the "enemy."   If a birthday party--one of a child's most important events--can be stopped by mere threats of a bully, what impact does that have on a child's security in going to bed at night, or waking in the morning, or walking to school, or riding the bus or subway?
         Terrorism is an Enemy of our State of Mind.   And, as our State of Mind is impacted, so does the ripple effect pass downward to our children, to all children, and throughout our society.  
         Today, I'm going to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.   I'm going to the Statue of Liberty.  I'm going to the Empire State Building.   I'm going to walk into the face of Terrorism.    I want my grandchildren and my children to know that bullies win only when they intimidate successfully.    I want them to know I'm going to visit these "Terrorist Targets" because I believe Vigilance is about confrontation not Complacency.  
        Mayor Bloomberg was right.   Letting Terrorism kill a birthday party is nothing more than another present wrapped in Fear and Intimidation that we hand over to the Osama bin Laden's of the world.   
        I'm going to take the gift of Complacency back.   I'm going to walk the "Terrorist Threat," if for no other reason than to fight my own Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies.   Each time I do, my Courage, Conviction and Right Action grows.
       And most importantly, when I look my children and grandchildren in the eye, and I speak of Vigilance, I have the authority to do so.  
       Take a walk for Vigilance.   Light a birthday candle for the Brooklyn Bridge.  Tell Terrorism to take a hike!  And, take the Pledge of Vigilance--it's the beginning of a new freedom, one that is much more selfless than selfish.

G0 TO:  May 25--"Vigilance--The Edge Of Infinity!"

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