The  VigilanceVoice

July 4, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 295

Independence Day: 
uly 4, 1776 Or September 11, 2001?

Cliff McKenzie
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 history.
      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 the government.
       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 do.
         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 land.

         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 children.
        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 better today.
        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 flaws.
       Personally, I don't think we have any.
       We just have a lot of warts that need cutting off.
       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 military.   
        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 Vigilance.
         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.
        Simple people.
        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 Complacency--no action?
        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 fade.

        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.

Go To July 3--Terror Of The International Criminal Court     

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