Today is a memorial day to thousands of Sentinels of
Vigilance who died so that others might live. The Spirits
of Vigilance hover over Ground Zero. They hold up their
Shields and Swords of Vigilance as a reminder that Terrorism must be
fought on a daily basis to protect our children, and our Children's
Children's Children. I offer my vow to them to never
forget to be Vigilant.
11, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 729
The Vow Of Vigilance On Ground Zero
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Sep 11, 2003-- Semper
Vigilantes! The Latin words mean "always Vigilant."
No two words have more meaning to Americans
and a world locked in battle with Terrorism than these two.
On this day
two years ago America was attacked by Terrorism
On this day, 729 days ago plus one, America
was attacked by Terrorism. More than 3,000 of our citizens
and others died at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and in a field in
Pennsylvania as a result of that attack.
The following is my Vow of Vigilance:
"I vow to never forget that Terrorism
seeks to cripple its victims with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency,
and that Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the
Children's Children's Children--is the only antidote."
Over the past two years since
my survival of the Nine Eleven attack at the World Trade Center in New
York City, I have worked on developing tools and systems to ward of
the Beast of Terror.
The following are some of them,
offered to you as methods and systems to secure the freedom of your
loved ones from the Beast of Terror's wrath.
The Pledge Of Vigilance:
Located below is the Pledge of Vigilance. It has
been designed for you to download and print, sign and post in a
conspicuous place in your home or business. It is a
reminder that we must renew our awareness about Terrorism's insidious
nature on a daily basis and that if we don't we open the door to
future attacks not only upon our physical safety, but also upon our
emotional security as well. Most importantly, the
Pledge reminds us our duty is to be Sentinels of Vigilance to protect
the children, the future generations to whom we as adults owe
Click Pledge For A Printable Free
The One Percent Factor:
Battling Terrorism begins with how we think and ends with how we act.
Part of human nature is to be attacked by TerrorThoughts. A
TerrorThought is one that tries to diminish the integrity of the human
spirit, to drive its owner into a state of Fear, Intimidation or
Complacency. Human evolution is about rising above
our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies. It means we must
learn to grow despite attacks on our self-worth and our self-image.
A child, for example, who believes he or she isn't loved by his or her
parents, or looks in a mirror and sees someone who is too fat, too
thin, not smart enough, not rich enough, not lucky enough; a child who
is abused emotionally or physically, or fears the wrath of his or her
parents' Voices, or is afraid to share the deep fears, intimidations
and complacencies in his or her heart--grows up in a state of
Terrorism, driven deep into himself or herself by TerrorThoughts.
Many adults carry over to adulthood the Triad of TerrorThoughts they
suffered as children. They live frightened lives, feeling
victimized by life's sometimes cruel and harsh hand that seems to
swipe at them. The One Percent Factor is a tool to
help overcome TerrorThoughts.
"Victimization" can be overcome using the One Percent Factor
It works in a simple manner.
The first rule is that we are not responsible for our First Thought,
but we are our Second Thought. Our First Thought appears
out of nowhere. It may be a sense of doom and gloom, or a sudden
attack of Fear, or an overwhelming sense of Intimidation when we are
in the presence of others, or, at its worst, a feeling of
powerlessness, helplessness to change our lives or act in a way that
will alter the present. We call this Complacency, that feeling
of "giving up," of "futility" that we can escape our lot.
Some also call it "victimization."
Almost all our feelings can be channeled
into one of the three Triads of Terrorism--Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. These are the taproots of
TerrorThoughts. Left to breed within us, they choke off our
ability to grow, to evolve. They also sour our vision to the
future, and tend to close our ability to pass on to our children and
loved ones the hope and belief that life has a worth far greater than
The One Percent Factor states that to
counter and change the TerrorThoughts that haunt us all at one time or
another, we need to engage our Second Thought. Since we
cannot control our First Thought--the one that happens at random or is
sparked by circumstance--we do have the power to say STOP THOUGHT!
We can force an end to a TerrorThought, just as we can shove on the
brakes to a runaway car and stop it from hurtling into a crowd of
can be passed on to our Children's Children's Children
To overpower a TerrorThought of
Fear, Intimidation and, or Complacency takes only One Percent more
energy than the TerrorThought itself. When attacked by
Fear, one needs only to muster One Percent more Courage to face that
Fear. One Percent more Conviction to stand off a feeling of
Intimidation, and One Percent more effort to take Right Actions that
benefit future generations than the sense of Complacency that we are
powerless to change the way things are, or our lot in life.
This system is most valuable for children
who face these Triads of Terrorism in their daily lives.
Teaching a child to say STOP THOUGHT! and teaching that child that
Fear can be overcome by the Courage to simply face it, or Intimidation
by the ability to confront it with the Conviction that the child is
equal to, not less than that which Intimidates it, empowers the child
to manage his or her TerrorThoughts. And, by
charging the child with the duty to realize that he or she can help
other children by acting in such a way as to protect them from the
bullies of life, helps the child realize that overcoming Complacency
is nothing more than caring more about others than one's self.
Right Actions for future generations is about selflessness, not
selfishness. A single act of empathy for another drives
the Beast of Terror away, and frees a child from a TerrorThought, just
as it can and will any adult.
of Terror are like lightening bolts coming out of nowhere but we
can quell them with STOP THOUGHT!
Successful management of
TerrorThoughts is not a Herculean effort. It is a simple
formula. It requires us to realize that the Beast of
Terror seeks to cripple us with TerrorThoughts. To
be Vigilant, we need to realize we have little control over our First
Thought. First Thoughts appear at random, like dark clouds
suddenly sweeping across a clear sky. Or, like
lightening smashing suddenly down out of the blue. First
Thoughts parallel the Terrorist attack on Nine Eleven. They come
out of nowhere.
The defense against them is to say to
one's self: STOP THOUGHT! Such statements can be verbal or
quietly shouted to one's self. When in a situation where a
sense of Fear, Intimidation or Complacency grips one, the ammunition
necessary to drive back the Beast of Terror and his Terror Demons
begins with shouting aloud or to one's inner self: STOP THOUGHT!
A child can learn this as quickly as
an adult. The next step is turn the mind into a state of
offense, to chase the Bully TerrorThought away by simply saying:
"GIVE ME THE COURAGE TO FIGHT MY FEAR, or, GIVE ME THE CONVICTION
TO FIGHT MY INTIMIDATION, or, GIVE ME THE STRENGTH TO TAKE THE RIGHT
ACTIONS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO OVERCOME THE SENSE OF COMPLACENCY...THE SENSE OF POWERLESSNESS...THE SENSE OF VICTIMIZATION THAT I AM A
NOBODY, THAT I CAN'T DO ANYTHING! GIVE ME THE STRENGTH TO BE
SELFLESS FOR THE CHILDREN!"
Mechanically, we only need One
Percent more Courage than Fear, One Percent more Conviction than
Intimidation, and One Percent more Right Actions than Complacency to
scare away the Bully Thoughts of Terrorism.
A child needs to understand
that managing his or her thoughts does not require the strength of
Superman or Wonder Woman. It only requires an urging by his or
her parents to first recognize a TerrorThought for what it is--an
attempt by the Beast of Terror to limit and frighten a child's
evolution as a strong human being.
consider everyone a nail and themselves a hammer are Power Terrorists
Terrorism's simple but profound
purpose is to strike Fear into its victims, to make people afraid, to
make them cower and feel helpless. The child abuser
operates the same way, so does the criminal who uses the power of
Intimidation to victimize others. Selfish people who
consider everyone a nail and themselves a hammer and carelessly take
advantage of the weaker among them, or the uniformed, employ the same
tactics of Terrorism. The Enron's and WorldCom's and
ImClone's are white collar examples of Terrorism in insidious formats.
But, their purpose is the same--to appear as shadows of Intimidation
over others, and to seem out of reach of the average person.
We all have the ability to STOP
THOUGHTS that tend to cripple our integrity, our resolve or our
ability to stand up to Terrorism, whether it be issued from attacks
like those of Nine Eleven, or a sense of despair and futility over the
ruts of life we find ourselves ensnarled within.
By shouting out: STOP
THOUGHT!, and calling upon the Sentinels of Vigilance to give us One
Percent More Courage Than Fear, One Percent More Conviction Than
Intimidation, and One Percent More Right Actions For Future
Generations Than Complacency, we stunt Terrorism's growth within us,
our children and society as a whole.
Sentinels Of Vigilance: One of the greatest tools
to fight Terrorism in our minds as well our lives is to enjoin the
Spirits of Vigilance to aid us in our daily battle against the many
faces of Terrorism.
Sitting in the
rubble of Nine Eleven, I witnessed the birth of the Spirits of Vigilance
entering our world
When I was sitting in the rubble of
the World Trade Center attack, I saw what I believe to be the Spirits
of Vigilance rise up and hover over Ground Zero.
They remain there today, nearly
3,000 souls circling the site, eyes fixed to the horizon.
They represent all sizes and shapes of humanity. One
third of those killed that day were not Americans, but citizens of the
world community. The attack on the World Trade Center was
an attack on the global community.
When I think of the Sentinels
of Vigilance, I see a man and woman blended as one. The
man looks to the North and West, the woman to the South and East.
In one hand they hold the Shield of Vigilance, in the other the Sword
of Vigilance. Around the pedestal of their symbolic statue
is a ring of children from all lands, dancing and playing in peaceful
The figures above
are a combination of all cultures, speaking the languages of many
lands, but all words that come from their mouths end with the
statement: "Semper Vigilantes," the Latin for "Always Vigilant!"
They are the great,
great, great, great, great grandchildren of the Battle of Thermopylae.
Nearly 2,500 years ago a small group of Spartans staved off hoards of
Terrorists trying to invade their land. For three days,
500 Spartans halted more than 150,000 troops trying to enter Spartan
land. When they were finally killed, a poet wrote about their
glorious stand, and told the world their spirits remain in the pass,
warning anyone who threatens the land that they are ready to fight off
of Vigilance are descendants of the Spartans in the Battle of
The Spirits of Vigilance
of September 11, 2001 go far back in history. They
are the same spirits of men and women, grandparents, uncles, aunts,
cousins who, during the caveman era when human beings were evolving
out of the primordial sledge of the world, stood with clubs and stones
to drive off the rapacious attack of the great dinosaurs and saber
toothed cats that
threatened the security of the cave children.
They are the spirits of the Parents,
Grandparents and Loved Ones of Vigilance who have, throughout all
time, offered their lives to protect future generations from the
tyranny and oppression of both physical and societal Terrorism.
Peoples who have revolted over time
against tyrannical leadership, and have offered their lives for the
freedom of their children to live and aspire to become whomever they
wish to be regardless of race, color, creed, political or economic
backgrounds, serve as models of Sentinels of Vigilance.
The Shield & Sword Of Vigilance: No one should go
unarmed unto the world without the weapons necessary to stave off
Terrorism. Two I offer are the Sword and Shield of
Vigilance. The Shield of Vigilance is something I
conjure in my mind to hold up when I am under attack by Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. I carry my imaginary shield
on my left arm (I'm right handed). When I feel the attack
coming, I lift the Shield of Vigilance. I realize that the
feelings of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency will bounce off the
Shield, giving me time to say STOP THOUGHT!
the Sword and Shield of Vigilance to stave off Terrorism
In my right hand I carry the
Sword of Vigilance. It's purpose is to cut through the Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency and to expose in the nucleus of those
Triads of Terrorism the Courage, Conviction and Right Actions which
the Beast of Terror has swallowed, digested and tried to consume from
me. The Sword of Vigilance is used in a similar
fashion as a nutcracker. Inside the crusty, dank shell of
TerrorThoughts is held the jewels of Vigilance--the Courage,
Conviction and Right Actions necessary for me to stave off the Beast
of Terror's attacks. When these Principles of Vigilance
are uncovered, the Beast runs and hides, for he is now, and always has
been, a coward.
The Beast of Terror--Human beings, as with all life and matter,
is a composition of pluses and minuses. Matter exists
because of a positive and negative charge circling a nucleus.
Energy is about the push and pull of opposing forces.
But, in all physics, the
positive charge leads the negative. In other words, the
positive forces exceed the negative by at least some factor of One
Percent. Without the positive force having more purpose
than the negative, the world would be in physical chaos.
Gravity would not be in place. Matter would spew into the
The Beast of Terror is the
negative charge of humanity. The Sentinel of Vigilance is
Within each of us is a primal
nature, a negative charge that we seek to manage and control because,
unlike other creatures, we struggle to learn how to coexist with one
another despite all our wonderful differences. We
speak more than 600 different languages with thousands of dialects.
We believe in a wide variety of religions and subscribe to as many
different beliefs as there are people. Our cultures
vary and our skin color has countless variations.
Each of our fingerprints is
different, symbolic of our unique nature as individuals, and our minds
are charged with thoughts created to be different from any other
thoughts because each of us is the sum of our individual experiences,
and no two people's experiences are exactly the same
The Beast of
Terror rests within each of us
And, in each of us, rests the
Beast of Terror. He is a reminder that we need to be Vigilant.
He comes to children in the dark of night, in the shadows of the
closet or from under the bed. He exists in nightmares.
Our affinity for "horror movies" is one example of our awareness of
his presence. So are those who murder, rape and plunder
others. From the child abuser to the Hitlers, from the
parent who is too busy building financial security to give his or her
child the love and care needed to stave off the Beast within to the
Osama Bin Ladens and Saddam Husseins, the Beast roams within us.
He will attack when we least expect it, as he did in Columbine or in
Washington D.C. when the snipers randomly killed anyone in sight.
The Beast of Terror exists in our
mirrors at home. When we look at our reflection and see
something we don't like about ourselves and dwell on it, and start to
believe we are unworthy, inept, victimized, a loser, ugly, sad,
lonely, or any derivation of disdain for ourselves, our life or the
future we face, we fall victim to the Beast of Terror's venom.
We poison ourselves by allowing those TerrorThoughts to drip like acid
on the sores of our tattered souls.
Loved Ones of Vigilance need to take a Vigilance Inventory
We must recognize that our
children inherit the Beast of Terror as we did, as part of our human
chemistry. That is why it is so vital that we, as
Parents and Loved Ones of Vigilance, seek the Courage, Conviction and
take the Right Actions to sit with our children and talk about the
Beast of Terror within us. We need to share with out
children and loved ones our own Beasts so that they will trust us to
share theirs. And then, to work up a plan to fight the Beast of
Terror within with the Principles of Vigilance--the STOP THOUGHT
System, the Pledge of Vigilance, the Sword and Shield of Vigilance,
the One Percent Factor.
September 11, 2003, is a time when I
must take inventory of my own Vigilance. It is time for us all
to do the same. We all need a Vigilance Inventory.
We need to look at the list of our Fears, our Intimidations and our
Complacencies and ask the Sentinels of Vigilance for help in
We do not need to resolve all our
issues in one sitting. Exposing the Beast is the first and
foremost part of Vigilance, for Vigilance is nothing more than opening
our eyes and keeping them open.
We cannot fight what we cannot see.
We cannot achieve what we do not recognize is possible.
thousands of souls from Nine Eleven are rooting for us and our
Children's Children's Children
On this day, thousands of souls from the attack
of September 11, 2001, are rooting us on. They don't want
us to wallow in the sadness of their loss, but to instead take their
passage from life to death as a reminder they died so that we might
live a richer, happier life on this earth, and pass on those riches
and happiness's to our children, and our Children's Children's
We can best pay tribute to the Sentinels of
Vigilance by saluting their sacrifice with the Pledge of Vigilance.
We can download it and post it in our homes and businesses, and work
on battling our TerrorThoughts with the Principles of Vigilance.
That will make the Sentinels of Vigilance
It will honor them, for they will know we
are protecting the future generations. They will know we
evolving into Citizens of Vigilance, and that their sacrifice was a