Zero Plus 358
Where Is My Mommy? My
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, September 5--The following letter is in response to the Children
of Nine Eleven, who ask, "Where Is My Mommy? My Daddy?"
Dear Children of
September 5, 2002
Some people might say your
mommy or daddy is in Heaven, or in a "Better Place," or with God and the
Angels. There is no doubt your mother or father, or grandpa or
grandma, or cousin or uncle, aunt, brother or sister is in a beautiful
place where he or she can keep an eye on you and your friends, and all the
children's children's children.
Some also say there is a reason for
everything, even if we don't understand that reason. I believe
that your mother or father or loved one who was lost in the terrible
events of Nine Eleven are still here, watching, guarding, loving you from
the bottom of his or her heart.
I was there that day, at Ground Zero.
I saw the terrible, senseless destruction. I was sad for you and all the
children who lost so many loved ones. I sat with
tears in my eyes watching the smoke and fire. I felt alone
too. Then I saw something glorious and
beautiful I wish to share with you. Perhaps it will help you know
where your mommy and daddy is, or one of your loved ones who was lost
As I looked up from the rubble and
ash, I saw the smoke rising into the sky. At first, it was
just smoke. My eyes burned from the soot and tears, but I kept
looking at the smoke. I began to see something in the
smoke. It was the image of figures of men and women.
They were of all different colors,
sizes and shapes, speaking different languages. Some were
mothers and fathers. Others were grandparents, uncles, aunts,
cousins. Some were old. Others were young. Some
rich, some poor.
They reached out to one another,
holding hands. One by one, they floated up to form a great
circle in the sky. They seemed to be talking to one
another, deciding whether to continue to rise up or to stay.
When the last one reached out and
took her place in the circle, next to a fireman and policeman, who
were holding hands with a man who shined shoes and a woman who was the
president of a big company, they began to talk. Finally,
everyone nodded his or her head.
They all voted to stay.
To stand guard over Ground Zero. They voted to become
Sentinels of Vigilance, to protect all the children and their
children's children's children from Terrorism. And that's where
they are today.
They squeezed themselves together into one
tightly packed ball of people of all different nationalities, from all
different kinds of jobs. The tighter they pressed together, the
more they become one, until finally they stood as one out many.
The final form they have taken is
a combination of a man and woman, standing back-to-back, the man
watching the east, the woman scanning the western horizon
Their heads turn like the beacon on lighthouse, illuminating the dark
shadows where Terrorism tries to hide, exposing it, frightening it
On top of their heads rests a wreath
of peace, woven from fig leaves. On their hips, hanging
from a golden rope tied around their waist, is a Sword of Vigilance
ready to be drawn should any Terrorist try and attack the innocent,
the helpless, the children or families of the land.
Their right hand is free to draw upon
the Sword of Vigilance if necessary, but they do not seek revenge or
wish to act out of anger or hatred, for they know the enemy,
Terrorism, is driven by such forces. Their job is to
protect, not attack. But if any of their loved ones are
threatened, they will not hesitate to protect them. And they love all
children, even those not their own.
In their left hand they hold up the
Shield of Vigilance. In the center of the shield are
the letters, "S" and "V," embossed so the sunlight dances upon its
golden center. The letters stand for "Semper Vigilantes," a
Latin saying for Always Vigilant.
Around the borders of the Shield of
Vigilance is carved three statements: Courage! Conviction!
These are the called the Creeds of
Vigilance--or, the Beliefs of Vigilance. It is these three
statements the Sentinels live by: Courage, Conviction, Right
The Sentinels use their shields to
ward off Terrorism's arrows of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
The Sentinels know that Terrorism's
goal is to drive us into a state of Fear, to make us tremble and feel
we are at the mercy of its power.
These Sentinels of
Vigilance stand guard over Ground Zero to remind us that there are two
types of Terrorism. First, the kind that hurts your body
and creates physical pain. The second, and the most
important, is the one that hurts your feelings and causes emotional
pain and suffering.
They call them:
"Terrorism from Without," and "Terrorism from Within."
The Sentinels believe the
most dangerous is the Terrorism from Within. It creeps
into your mind when you don't feel "good enough," or "loved enough,"
or "smart enough," or "pretty enough," or "rich enough," or "lucky
enough" compared with others. It makes you afraid, intimidates
you, and drives you into complacency.
The Sentinels of Vigilance know
that inside you is both light and darkness, happiness and sadness,
hope and dismay. They know this because it is inside
everyone, big or small, rich or poor. They know we
must fight the Terrorism Feelings Within to protect our land from
Terrorism Without, for if we do not have the Courage, Conviction and
ability to take the Right Action, Terrorism will return again and
again. Terrorism preys on our weaknesses, and shuns our
strengths. Terrorism is like any bully. It
will run away only when it is stood up to.
To help us remember to not be
afraid, to not be intimidated, to take the right actions, the
Sentinels made up the Pledge of Vigilance. It is a vow
that people take--mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters,
cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and loved ones--reminding us
all that we must fight Terrorism daily on two fronts--outside us and
We learn from the Pledge that
Terrorism exists inside us when we feel Fear, or are Intimidated by
someone or something (feeling less than another). It also grows
in us when we become Complacent.
Complacency means telling
ourselves we don't care, that what we have to say or think really
doesn't matter. Or, that no one listens to us. Or,
what we have to say isn't worthy or as worthy as what others have to
say. Complacency is about giving up on ourselves and
others. It's about letting the "Bully Inside" win.
The Sentinels offer us their
Shield of Vigilance to protect us against these Terrorism (bully)
feelings and thoughts.
They urge us to use the Shield
of Courage to deflect the arrows of Fear. They teach us
that Conviction--standing up for our beliefs no matter how small and
insignificant they may seem--will always shatter Intimidation just as
surely as Humpty Dumpty fell from the wall.
By drawing up the Shield's power of
Conviction, we never have to feel "less than" another again.
Instead, we can be anyone's equal in human stature, respecting their
opinions as they should ours, never feeling "better than" another, or
separating ourselves from the Circle of Vigilance.
Finally, and the hardest of all, , is taking the Right Action when all we feel like is
giving up because we think no one cares. The Shield
of Vigilance gives us Right Action to knock down the Spears of
Complacency Terrorism throws our way. Complacency is the feeling
of being powerless over our lives, believing we are victims of
circumstance, or that we are little ants dodging the feet of giant
elephants. When we become a mere grain of sand on the beach,
with everyone walking over us, trampling us, it only means that
Terrorism's Complacency has wounded us. We can recover.
We can heal. We can fight back. We can take the
When we are caught in Terrorism's
snare, we need to listen. We listen for the Sentinels of
Vigilance. If we cock our ear to their Voices, we will hear them whisper: "You can do it. You can overcome Fear with Courage.
You can stand tall with Conviction over Intimidation. You can take the Right Action by
not falling in the pit of Complacency. I'm here for you.
I love and respect you. We all do. Stand up for
yourself and the children, and their children's children's children. Dream. Hope. Don't give
up. Don't let Terrorism win the battle over your thoughts."
of Vigilance are our Courage Builders. They help us
stand tall among the Giants of Oppression. They hoist us
upon their shoulders so we can see there is no difference between the
king and pauper, between the shoe shine man and the president of a big
company, between someone walking down the street with holes in his
shoes and another driving by in a limousine. They help us
see that human strength is measured by what's inside our hearts, not
by what we wear on our outsides, or what we look like.
So when you wonder, "Where has my
mommy or daddy gone?," or when you feel sad and frightened that you
are alone, or you think the world has turned against you--STOP!
Look up into the sky.
There, you will see--if you look hard--a
man and woman standing back-to-back amongst the clouds, wearing
a wreath of peace on their heads. Each will have a
sword hanging from a golden rope around his or her waist, and each
will hold up a Shield of Vigilance to reflect the sun's light on the
darkness of the Terrorism stalking your thoughts.
If you truly listen, you will hear your
mother's or father's or loved one's Voice whispering to you, "Semper
Vigilantes--Be Always Vigilant."
You will feel the power of your Courage,
Conviction and Right Actions fire inside you, kindled by the thousands
of other Sentinels of Vigilance who stand guard over you.
You will feel the Forces of Vigilance drive away the darkness of
Terrorism that seeks to spear your heart with Fear, wound your spirit
with Intimidation, and crush your Hope into a pile of lifeless
The Sentinels of Vigilance won't let
that happen--not if you believe in them.
Be proud of where your mother or father or loved
one is. Look into the sky.
You are not alone--not now--not ever.
They are there, watching, guarding, protecting
you, and your children, and their children's children's children.
Can you hear them whispering: "Semper
Go To Sep 4--Terrorism
& The Mosquitoes
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