May 4, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 235
The F-18 Mission Of Vigilance
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, May 4--I have a new mission.
I received my orders last night.
friend of both my daughters, is a peacenik. The
is anti-war and anti-violence. But her brother isn't.
While cut from the same cloth, they both enjoy different viewpoints,
attitudes. Like my own children, they represent
the maximum diversity of opinion offered by a free society.
Yet they are as close as it is possible for siblings to be.
brother is a F-18 pilot. He flew on the first missions
against the Terrorists in Afghanistan. He's still
there, providing close air support for U.S. ground troops.
To get to his
target zones, he has to fly 1,500 miles. He has
been under attack by ground forces trying to lock on him with
radar to blow him out of the sky.
In his heart
and soul, as with so many young and courageous warriors, he
is fighting for peace and freedom. His missions
are designed to protect the children, parents and grandparents
of both America and the world from Terrorism's insidious reach.
of what he does. And Michelle, despite her anti-war
and anti-violence viewpoints, is proud of him.. Just as
my anti-war, anti-violence daughter is proud of her sister who
is a federal agent and daily hunts down bad guys with her 9mm
Glock strapped to her side to keep the streets safe from criminals
who threaten the homeland security.
My mission, which I accepted last night, is to take a United
States Flag to the first firehouse that responded to the Nine
Eleven attacks on the World Trade Center. The firehouse
is Engine Company 7, featured in the CBS documentary "9/11"
filmed by Jules and Gideon Naudat.
The flag was
a passenger in the cramped cockpit of Michelle's brother's F-18
on his first mission to fight Terrorism. It flew 1,500
miles with him to provide air support to Special Forces troops
on the ground.
He sent the
flag to his sister and asked her if she could get a picture
of the firemen with it who were the first to respond to the
Terrorist attacks on September 11. He wants her
to let as many people know as possible that he and his buddies
are fighting daily to protect them from Terrorism's harm.
had seen the "9/11" documentary about the daily lives
of firemen. It was shot over many months preceding the
attack. The filmmakers picked a rookie in training, Tony
Benetatos, and followed him (see photo
They were filming at the station house the day the Terrorists
attacked, and captured the first plane hitting the World Trade
Center in their camera's lens. It is now a historic piece
of photographic history.
and his crew were inspired by the film. They wanted
all the firemen in New York City and around the world, as well
as all the other hero's of that "day of infamy" to
know they were risking their lives to support the safety of
others--and to pay tribute to those fire, police and emergency
workers who perished on the Second Tuesday of September.
Michelle showed me
the letter and the flag her brother had flown with to represent
their Vigilance over Terrorism. She asked me if I would
go with her to the fire station and take pictures to be sent
back to her brother's buddies so they might know their message
of Vigilance had been transmitted.
I heartily agreed.
What inspired me the most about
her attitude was that while she stands on the opposite pole
of violence, her appreciation of those risking their lives to
deal deathly blows to Terrorism was untarnished.
If there is a symbol of freedom of democracy, it is when two
opposing moral and ethical viewpoints can coexist in the same
space, each recognizing the right of the other to disagree and
still live in harmony.
This is in total contrast
to the principles of Terrorism. Under Terrorism,
if one disagrees then one is shot, or tortured, or a suicide
bomber walks into a room of those who hold opposite political,
religious and moral views and is blown to bits in an attempt
to claim victory through Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
I was honored to be asked
to participate in such a ceremony.
We are planning to go down
to the fire station, located closes to the former World Trade
Center where we will shoot pictures to send to her brother.
Democracy's highest honor
is the allowance of diversity. And for me, to be
able to take such a picture for people on both sides of the
moral and ethical coin, is like raising a flag of Vigilance
over the world of Terrorism. It tells me there is
much hope for our Victory over Terrorism when young men such
as Michelle's brother ask their counter parts to respect their
I will report what
happens in a future article. But, there is
one last thing I would like to share about he U.S. Flag, and
its symbols of diversity.
In my Google.com search
for pictures to support this story, I ran across the meaning
of a folded U.S. Flag. I had never seen nor heard
why the flag was folded in thirteen different sections.
Below is the information I found for your review.
you read the reasons, think about the rights we have been blessed
with by our original Parents of Vigilance, the shapers of our
U.S. Constitution. These men, who were highly influenced
by the women in their lives, constructed a system of diversity
in which all peoples could live in harmony despite their unique
beliefs and outlooks. As this country matured in
its outlook and support of our powerful Constitution of Equality,
we learned many lessons--some which were laced with the blood
of heroes such as Michelle's brother and his buddies who willingly
risk their lives every day to support our Constitutional right
to live in peace and harmony.
Dwell on the thirteen
reasons listed below and see if you don't appreciate and respect
just a little more the flag that flies over your head--for it
is ultimately the greatest symbol of Vigilance in the world.
And, remember that as Parents
of Vigilance, your children may one day have the right to choose
to either fight Terrorism, or pray for its elimination.
In either case, your children will be Soldiers of Violence.
WHY THE AMERICAN FLAG IS FOLDED 13
Have you ever wondered why the flag of the United States of
America is folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is
folded and handed to the widow at the burial of a veteran?
Here is the meaning of each of those folds and what it means
(1) The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
(2) The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
(3)The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of all the
veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives
for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the
(4) The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American
citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace
as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
(5) The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the
words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with
other countries may she always be right; but it is still our
country, right or wrong."
(6) The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is
with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the
United States Of America, and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice
(7) The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for
it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and
our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within
or without the boundaries of our republic.
(8) The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into
the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light
of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.
(9) The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been
through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the
character of the men and women who have made this country great
has been molded.
(10) The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too,
has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country
since they were first born.
(11) The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents
the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon,
and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
(12) The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen,
represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes,
God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.
(13) When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost
reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust".
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes
on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the
soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the
sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones,
who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed
Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges,
and freedoms we enjoy today.
The next time you see a flag ceremony honoring someone that
has served our country, either in the Armed Forces or in our
civilian services such as the Police Force or Fire Department,
keep in mind all the important reasons behind each and every
movement. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us
by honoring our flag and our Country
To May 3--I've
Got A Sore On My Penis