July 21, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 312

One Out Of Many
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, July 21--It is Sunday, a day of Vigilance.   Three-hundred and twelve days from Ground Zero.

       Yesterday, around noon, one of the Con Edison power stations blew up.
       The explosion and black towers of smoke roiling in the blue sky sent shocks through the city.   Women ran from playground with their children, unsure what was happening.
       I grabbed my cell and called to find out what it was.
       No Terrorists--just Terrorism.
       The aftermath of Nine Eleven is like being raped, one woman told me.   "You never trust anyone again, or any thing."
       The violation to our security puts everyone on edge, especially those of us who witnessed first-hand the horror of September 11.
        Fortunately, the explosion was not precipitated by anyone.  It was just a flaw.
        Nevertheless, it signaled the fragility of a city, millions of people who were affected.
        Anywhere where an explosion occurs the thought of Terrorism somersaults to the surface.

    Even helicopters bring out the fear.
        A man was arrested the other day for shooting his rifle at a helicopter that settled down near his house.   He told police he thought it was a Terrorist attack.   The helicopter pilot had illegally landed to pick up a business friend. He was cited for violating flying regulations by landing in a neighborhood.
        Or, Vigilance?
        To me, the idea of Vigilance is not solitary.   Vigilance to be truly exercised, must be a community effort, representing more than one individual's actions or reactions to a situation.
        The nearly 3,000 souls who hover over the World Trade Center and Pentagon, representing our Sentinels of Vigilance, do not act alone.  They combine their six thousand eyes, and six thousand ears, and three thousand noses to sniff, look and listen for the approaching figures of Terrorism.

     Yesterday, a city of millions stood at attention, waiting, listening, hearing, smelling the air.   
        Unity is the key to Vigilance, while solitary reaction is a vigilante act.   Terrorism is about separating us from the flock, stranding us alone with our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies.  
         Vigilance unites us.  We combine our Courage, our Conviction and our Right Actions to make a wall of protection around our children.   We protect the highest order of life--not ourselves, but the future generations from the Fears Terrorism brings as its weapons.

   Today, if we all remember to band together, to support one another, to urge each of us to become Citizens of Vigilance, Parents of Vigilance.

    Acting as one together is the key.



Go To July 20--Duty Of Vigilance

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