THE VigilanceVoicev
Monday-- May 6, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 237

Vigilance vs. Protestors Of Terrorism
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City, May 6--Terrorism has many faces.   Some days it takes on the appearance of Vigilance. 
        That was how I felt yesterday at the 54th Anniversary Parade of the Jewish State.   It was held in New York City where an estimated 500,000 people lined 5th Avenue as Israel supporters marched and cheered while anti-war and Palestinian protestors booed and ranted.
        I went uptown early and took a prime seat on a bench in front of FAO Schwarz's toy store.  It seemed ironic that one of the world's happiest and most peaceful toy stores was the site of the start of one of the biggest confrontations of war and peace.
       Protestors were lined up on one side of the street at the corner of 59th and 5th Ave.  They were herded into a central arena, surrounded by a mass of mounted and foot police who could keep a watchful eye.   Bomb sniffing dogs patrolled the area with their K-9 NYPD handlers and I'm sure SWAT teams were hidden out of sight, their rifles and sniper's scopes at the ready in case of an outbreak of violence between protestors or a possible Terrorism attack.
       Placards on both sides flashed angry messages.  Voices jeered one another as pro-Palestinian and anti-war protestors railed about driving out the Israelis from Palestine.  Countering their cries and chants was the Jewish contingent who retaliated with cheers of support and glorification of the Jewish State.
       It is hard to describe all the mud slung from both sides, so I have elected to show a number of pictures I took of the event and let you chose how you feel.
       What struck me hardest about the event was the number of children who accompanied their parents.  Perched on their parents' shoulders, they were inundated with the visions and sounds of  the anger and resentment hurled between the pro and anti forces, facing each other on opposite sides of the street, absorbing the machine-gunned invectives that cleaved any hope of reconciliation.
       I thought of how a child's soul must harden itself with hate and anger, absorbed through these emotions from his or her parents toward another group of peoples, and how the deep roots of hatred is seeded in a child's innocence.  As that child grows, those roots don't disappear.  In some cases they thicken and gnarl themselves around the rocks of hate, fear, anger, resentment and, often, culminate in violence toward others who represent the root of the hatred their parents passed on to them through their actions, their words, their prejudices.
       I only hoped the Parents of Vigilance on both sides sat their children down either before or after the event, and explained to them that whatever was going to happen that day was not how the world should be.   And, that what "mommy" and "daddy" might say in a heated moment should not necessarily become their children's way of thinking.   That instead, they, the children, should make up their own minds as time passed how they felt about who was right and who was wrong.
       Let the pictures tell the story.

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