4, 2002—Ground Zero Plus
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, July 4--Some might argue that America's
Independence Day isn't just an historic memory, but a Terrorist-inspired reality.
Such pundits might go so far as to proclaim that September 11, 2001, hallmarks the
day when America broke its isolation from the rest of the world, and
became an "Independent Vigilant State."
Throughout the world, Terrorism is a
way of life for other nations. Only America held the position as the
"safe zone," a land of milk and honey, where the fears of tyranny and
shrapnel of Terrorism were void from its veins.
All that ended on September 11, 2001 at 8:43a.m.
Terrorism marched into the streets and
neighborhoods of the United States on the Second Tuesday of September, the click of its goose stepping boots
ringing thunderously. Not since the War of 1812 had foreign
invaders spilled the blood of Americans on their own private soil.
Our sanctuary was raped and ravaged.
Over the past two and quarter
centuries, the principles of
Freedom and Democracy have become mythlike. Constitutional
principles have come under many attacks, including the
newest one from abroad bronzed in the pose of the International Criminal Court seeking
the power to prosecute Americans for war crimes outside of
U.S. Constitutional protection should it deem our military or political leaders
acted in "criminal fashion."
Internally as well as abroad, the termites gnaw at the
foundations of our democracy. The Ninth District Court recently
ruled the words "Under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional,
and the emergency room doctor turned lawyer who filed the suit as an
atheist offended by the phrase, is now seeking to remove "In God We Trust"
from U.S. currency.
In Kansas, a small town is under attack to
remove a thirty-year-old memorial maintained by the city of the Ten
Commandments on the basis that Church and State should be separated, and
tax payers money should not be used to promote "religion."
Terrorism in our business community sucks the
marrow out of many Americans' trust and confidence in business leadership,
evidenced by the scandal of accounting Terrorism estimated to cost the public $146 billion
in equity, and drives investors from around the world to flee our
once-stable, Terrorist-free financial markets.
The Academy Award winning movie, Black Hawk Down,
shows the disunity and lack of leadership in our U.S. military.
Martha Stewart, the grandmotherish image of
American apple pie and ice cream is caught with her fingers in
everyone else's cookie jar.
And, to top it off, President Bush can't find Osama bin Laden.
It seems more than the World Trade Center and
Pentagon were smashed on September 11.
In the aftermath of that historic attack, the
infrastructure of the United States appears, on the surface, to be
teetering. Our Homeland Security program is being viewed
not unlike Nazi Germany's SS goon squads seeking power to tap phones and
violate fundamental rights to grab the slippery pig of Terrorism squealing
through our minds.
Despite what may appear as the Degradation of
America's Principles of
Democracy, America has
never stood at a more important and powerful point in her 226 year
Dead skin is falling off the Statue of Liberty.
New skin is forming.
This new skin is the armor of Vigilance.
It replaces the calluses of Complacency, which for years and
years, has grown thick over the heart of America's true virtues.
The shock of September 11, and the
aftermath of America's scrambling to try and right our ship which seemed
to be keeling over dangerously, has produced a renewal of Old Principles.
It stripped us of some very bad habits and very unsafe and insecure ways
in which we thought and acted toward the Founding Fathers original wishes.
The Declaration of Independence, signed on
this date just two centuries and twenty-six years ago, sought to free
Americans from Terrorism, not embroil them in its cooking vat.
If one looks closely at the Declaration, it
is truly a Declaration of Vigilance. It puts the
responsibility for freedom and security into the hands of the people, not
Our Bill of Rights was constructed under
the demand of the people to insure the power of government did not rest in
Washington or upon one leader's shoulders, but rather was vested under the
roof of the average citizen, Mom and Pop America.
As our nation has grown into an economic,
military and political monolith, we, the People, have slowly released our
grip on our responsibilities to manage our nation and allowed the "few" to
dictate to the "many."
The ills of our nation rest upon our
shoulders, not upon government or business or the military. It
was never intended by our architects of freedom that we could justifiably
point fingers at anyone but ourselves. That was how the
citizens of other non-democratic nations led their lives--blaming others.
American democracy put the duty and obligation for the preservation of our
union as one into each of our hands. It protected one
Voice in the wilderness, so that one Voice could cry loud enough and long
enough to create a choir.
The purpose of American Freedom as
defined in the Declaration and Constitution, is to protect our children
from tyranny and oppression. These instruments are "anti-Terrorism"
tools, to be used to bridle government, to restrain the military, and, if
necessary, to allow the people to revolt against any political system that
puts them at risk.
Structurally, the Declaration of
Independence sits above the Constitution. It provides each
American with the right and duty to revolt against oppression and tyranny,
and it charges each of us with the duty to protect the principles of
Freedom regardless of what those in power claim we are bound to do or not
The Constitution of the United
States is not the ruling document of democracy, the Declaration of
Independence is. Most people kowtow to the Constitution, when
the true power lies in each citizen's right to revolt--guaranteed by the
Declaration of Independence.
Politicians do not promote that
element of our democracy. They prefer to hide within the
Constitution--the man-made laws of the land--not the God-given laws of the
Thomas Paine, perhaps the most
important shapers of the Declaration through his influential writings that
stirred Americans to revolt through the words he weaved in his Common
Sense Pamphlets, claimed in his famous book, "The Rights Of Man," that all
authority came from a higher power, superceding any body of human beings,
and that the ultimate responsibility for leadership of a nation rested
within the individual, to protect not just his or her unalienable right,
but those of his or her children, and their children's children's
He sparked the flames of the American
Revolution, and forced the average citizen to think ahead, to plow through
the Complacency of "no action" into a state of revolt against the then
tyranny of English rule.
Now, America faces a similar dilemma.
Do the citizens of America sit by and
wait for government to right the ship of democracy, or, do they take arms
and create their own militia to rekindle the spirit of the Declaration of
Independence and refuel the ship of Liberty?
September 11 shattered America's
belief "others" could protect their children from harm. The
President and all our military and political might have yet to find Osama
bin Laden. This small but vital fact is frightening to those
who have no affinity to protect themselves, but have always mistakenly
believed government would guard them from harm. They know
Our governmental sentries, the CIA,
FBI and other intelligence gathering systems are and have been emasculated
over the years, rendered impotent in coordinating and issuing any web of
security over the people and their neighborhoods.
In other sectors, the Security
Exchange Commission, supposedly the watchdog of big business and policeman
of America's equity, have been sleeping at their posts.
The accounting scandals, some so simple that a high school accounting
student could figure them our, have gone unnoticed and now the bottom of
our business ethics system has been burned, and the food cooking within
has spilled onto the earth, spoiling the financial feast so many have
enjoyed for so long.
Thomas Paine said, "Never tear down a
structure unless you have another stronger one to replace it with."
It would be easy for me to throw
rocks at a glass house, but I'm not here to take issue with America's
Personally, I don't think we have any.
We just have a lot of warts that need
The biggest one is Complacency--the lack of
responsibility and duty of each citizen to be responsible for his or her
own Declaration of Independence.
The house I see uncovered by the
destruction of the World Trade Center and attack on the Pentagon by the
Terrorists of Nine Eleven is the House of Vigilance.
Vigilance is a public--not a
political, military or economic--concern. It belongs to the people,
just as the Declaration of Independence does.
Vigilance is the gift we were all
given by the Declaration of Independence. It requires that we, the
people, stand as watch guards over our government and our economy and our
It demands of us three elements:
Courage, Conviction and Right Action. It puts the duty and
responsibility for America's security on our doorstep, not the doorstep of
Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense, the President, the CIA, the
FBI. Our doorstep!
Today, we enjoy over 100 million
households in the United States representing just over 280 million people.
Back in 1776, there were about 2.5 million people, and 625,000 households.
Size has changed but responsibilities haven't.
In 1776, the responsibility of the
colonists who wanted a safer, more secure future for their children
demanded they take up arms and revolt against Terrorism.
Today, nothing has changed.
The same Declaration of Independence
that ignited the citizens of 1776 to action is the one we must fall back
on in 2002. Only instead of arming ourselves with guns and
pitchforks, we have a far more devastating weapon--The Pledge Of
This Pledge, show below, is our
Declaration of Independence from Terrorism. It provides each citizen
in America, and in other nations equally interested in the security of
their children and all children of this planet, to assume new command of
Courage, Conviction and Right Action.
Its foundations are outgrowths
of the Declaration of Independence. The Pledge was created
following the attacks of September 11 when it became clear that only
through individual concern, individual Vigilance, could Terrorism both
"within" and "without" be stopped.
Terrorism feeds off our Fears,
our Intimidations and our sense of Complacency that we are incapable as
one person to effect any changes, to manage any course directions of our
nation. This is the same kind of thinking that ran through the
colonists prior to 1776. The vast majority wanted to simply
ignore the small band of "revolutionaries" and "live and let live."
They were happy to just do their jobs, and not "get involved."
But the Voices of revolution
would not let them escape their duty to their children, or to the future
of the land they worked so hard to cultivate. Eventually, they
rose up, one by one, each taking a Pledge of Vigilance to fight for their
Freedom, and to assume the responsibility for their children's security.
September 11 shattered the old
beliefs that American citizens were safe and secure under the shield of
government protection. It stripped naked myths, and bared the
flaws of a democracy gone Complacent.
One only has to crack a paper
to see one after another bleeding veins in our government, military and
business institutions. Our media, once our standard bearers of
action and Voice that called us, the citizens to action, sit like fat cats
around tables and talk to each other for entertainment purposes.
They do not call
upon the citizens to revolt. They do not ask anyone
to take action, to get off their fat butts and take the Pledge of
Vigilance, to act in behalf of their children or loved ones.
The news media has become the
ultimate Terrorist in this debacle of declaring our independence, for they
only report the woes of America, and dig up the dirt and slime without
offering citizens the challenge to repair the damage through individual
effort. Such a cry would kill their ratings. Instead of being
all things to all people (essentially being nothing), they would risk
being some thing to some people (and be something). NBC, CBS,
ABC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC might lose sponsors if they issued a challenge to
Americans to take charge of their destiny, to not rely on government for
their security, to become Citizens of Vigilance, Parents of Vigilance,
Grandparents of Vigilance, Uncles and Aunts of Vigilance, Brothers and
Sisters of Vigilance, Loved Ones of Vigilance.
That leaves you and me.
With children and or grandchildren to
be concerned about.
It leaves us facing two opposing
forces--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency on one side of the coin, and,
on the other, Courage, Conviction and Right Action.
When it comes to protecting our
children from Terrorism--emotionally and physically--will we be afraid to
act? Will be intimidated that we do not have the skills or resources
to act? Will it be easier to wait for the government or
someone else to act in our behalf and throw us into a further state of
Or, do we muster the Courage to
change the way we think and live under our own roof? Do we
grit our teeth and draw upon the Conviction of those from 1776 who picked
up pitchforks and clubs and walked down the streets of their communities
to take on the Terrorism lurking at every corner? And,
finally, does the Courage and Conviction we've acquired lead us toward
taking Right Action to protect our children and their children's
children's children from further harm, or further endangerment of their
right to physical and emotional security?
I believe each person owes an
obligation to America's founding Parents of Vigilance to become a Citizen
of Vigilance. By signing the Pledge below, we take a giant
step forward in assuming the responsibility for the protection of our
society. Only when we, the people, stand up, will Terrorism
Take the Declaration of
Vigilance---Pledge your belief that you are in charge of your children's
freedom, of your loved one's freedom. Make the Fourth of July a day
to remember--to remember that September 11th is our Fourth of July, our
Boston Tea Party. Let the Sentinels of Vigilance who died that
day cheer on this day that you and countless others have the Courage and
Conviction to take the Right Action to protect the future security of a
great land whose children are under attack.
To July 3--Terror Of The International Criminal Court
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