Article Overview:   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.


Thursday--September 11, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 729
The Vow Of Vigilance On Ground Zero Plus 729
Cliff McKenzie
   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.   
       Semper Vigilantes!

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 everything.   Click Pledge For A Printable Free Download

      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 its burdens.
        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 innocent bystanders.

TerrorThoughts 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.

First Thoughts 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: 
         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.

Selfish people who 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.
        The 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 unity.
           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 any intruder.

The Sentinels of Vigilance are descendants of the Spartans in the Battle of Thermopylae

          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!

 I offer 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 universe.
         The Beast of Terror is the negative charge of humanity.   The Sentinel of Vigilance is the positive.
         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.  

Parents and 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 overcoming them.
        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.

Today, 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 Children.
      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 smile.
       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 worthy one.

       Semper Vigilantes.
       Cliff McKenzie

Sep 10--The Eve Of Vigilance

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