May 26, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 257
Taking A Walk Of Vigilance
On The Brooklyn Bridge
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, May 26--I like it when a
man speaks the truth about fighting Terrorism. New
York's Mayor Bloomberg did just that when he angrily chided
Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz for canceling the
119th birthday bash slated for June 2.
want us to show fear," Bloomberg said. "We should
stand up to them, not hide from their threats."
information said attacks were planned against New York and its
landmarks, including the bridge, the Statue of Liberty and City
Hall. To prove his point, the mayor visited the
Statue of Liberty on Saturday (May 25).
While there are arguments
to not gather near landmarks for fear of inviting Terrorist
attacks, there are equal points to be made to show Terrorists
that the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency they seek is impotent.
Terrorism is just
as happy with the cancellation of the celebration as it would
be blowing up the bridge. Its goal is Fear and Intimidation.
Its victory is the defeat of Confidence, the lack of Courage,
and the weeds of Complacency that choke off Vigilance when people
shy from the boasts of bullies.
retaliation to Bloomberg's comments, Markowitz claims the reason
he cancelled the celebration was that the police refused to
allow fireworks at the event. I wished he had stuck
with the excuse he was afraid of the Terrorists, for the fireworks
is a flimsy excuse, one that wobbles on the edge of pandering
to the public for political alms.
But I'm not here
to deride people's choices, but rather to suggest the dangers
of buckling to the Terrorists' goals--to Intimidate, to inject
Fear, to drive our society into Complacent hiding.
And, I'm here to promote the need to shove out our chests against
the bullies, to band together as a unified whole against their
nefarious tactics, which, unchecked and unanswered with Vigilance,
strangle our hopes of conquering their threats.
As individuals and as a society, we must not let Terrorism's
smallest grain of sand clog our Wheels of Vigilance.
Little acts of Terror must be dealt with just as giant ones.
If we let the roots of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency creep
into our existence and grow, they suffocate our decisions to
When we look in the mirror
and see something about ourselves we don't like, we can't afford
to not stop that Terroristic thought. If we continue to
berate our appearance, or our life as an individual, or what
we think of ourselves, we succumb to the Terror of self-incrimination,
self-demeanment, self-flagellation. We begin to
cower at our own shadow, wishing we were someone else, fearful
we will continue to be the "ugliness" we see, or the
"defect" that mars our beauty, our right as a human
being to be proud of who we are.
Buckling to External Terrorism
simply means we have little Internal Vigilance.
Internal Vigilance demands we fight the Terrorism both from
without and within.
I continue to believe the Terrorist
attack on September 11th was the opening of a door to fighting
the Terrorism within us all. It was a shocking,
horrible club on our heads designed to awaken us all to the
tiny Acts of Vigilance that will free us from lives of Emotional
The loss of thousands of lives
on that day represent to me a message for all of us to stand
up to Terrorism within ourselves. If we boldly recognize
that Terrorism exists within us, in the form of our negative
attitudes first toward ourselves, and secondly toward others,
it should enrage us to fight their incursions, to battle their
The Pledge of Vigilance has been
designed to force us to think in terms of our children, and
their children's children. By removing ourselves
one step from our own self, we become less afraid of acting
in Vigilant ways because we are operating at a higher order--we
are giving something of value to others.
This helps us think about
our own Terrorisms. Only by fighting our own Emotional
Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies can we help others fight
theirs. If we commit to the eradication of Terrorism in
our children, grandchildren and loved ones, the motivation to
heal our own Emotional Enemies is reinforced. Selflessness
replaces selfishness. The whole becomes greater than the
That's why the Brooklyn
Bridge birthday cancellation was saddening. It meant Terrorism
won another battle. It meant that selfishness throttled
The child who
was looking forward to the celebration must be told by his or
her parents that the Terrorists stopped the birthday party.
A child now wonders who can protect it from the "enemy."
If a birthday party--one of a child's most important events--can
be stopped by mere threats of a bully, what impact does that
have on a child's security in going to bed at night, or waking
in the morning, or walking to school, or riding the bus or subway?
an Enemy of our State of Mind. And, as our State
of Mind is impacted, so does the ripple effect pass downward
to our children, to all children, and throughout our society.
going to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. I'm going to
the Statue of Liberty. I'm going to the Empire State Building.
I'm going to walk into the face of Terrorism.
I want my grandchildren and my children to know that bullies
win only when they intimidate successfully.
I want them to know I'm going to visit these "Terrorist
Targets" because I believe Vigilance is about confrontation
Mayor Bloomberg was
right. Letting Terrorism kill a birthday party is
nothing more than another present wrapped in Fear and Intimidation
that we hand over to the Osama bin Laden's of the world.
I'm going to take
the gift of Complacency back. I'm going to walk
the "Terrorist Threat," if for no other reason than
to fight my own Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies.
Each time I do, my Courage, Conviction and Right Action grows.
And most importantly, when
I look my children and grandchildren in the eye, and I speak
of Vigilance, I have the authority to do so.
Take a walk for Vigilance.
Light a birthday candle for the Brooklyn Bridge. Tell
Terrorism to take a hike! And, take the Pledge of Vigilance--it's
the beginning of a new freedom, one that is much more selfless
TO: May 25--"Vigilance--The Edge Of Infinity!"