Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices our nation makes
to bring liberty and freedom to others. But what about the
unsung heroes of the day? What about those who are casualties of
Emotional and Physical Terrorism? When do we honor their
bravery? When do we salute their ability to survive?
And what can we do to end the true War On Terrorism--the one that is
fought inside many of us as we try to fend off the Beast of Terror?
There is a solution!
Saturday, June 1,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 993
Memorial Terrorism Day
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June 1, 2004 -- Over the
weekend, I thought about the lack of fanfare over Memorial Terrorism Day.
A conventional Memorial Day is a time to
honor those who sacrificed their lives in war, in battles fought to
seek freedom for others despite the distance from America, or the
differences that might exist between cultures.
I fought in such a war, in Vietnam.
I fought for the liberation of a people and lost that battle, as did
the 57,000 Americans who died in that fighting, and the estimated 2-3
There was a
lack of fanfare for the Memorial War on Terrorism
Records kept by the government record that
since the Revolutionary War, 2.4 million Americans have died or been
wounded in battles throughout the world. With the exception of
the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the blood spilled was on
foreign soil, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Over the 228 years of America's existence, an
average of 10,526 citizens per year have been killed or wounded in
battles for freedom. These deaths and wounds have been inflicted
in short periods of time. The Civil War accounts for
646,000 of them, World War II tops the list with 1,079,000 and Vietnam
But there is another kind of Memorial Day
that was overlooked this past weekend. It was Memorial
These casualties of the War On Terrorism
haven't been recorded. The victims have no plaques or monuments
to honor their scars. They don't wear medals of service or march
in parades. They don't belong to the Veterans of Terrorism
Clubs down at the local corner of the thousands of local communities
that comprise America's neighborhood structure.
Few, if any, of their family members know they
are Veterans of Terrorism, for they keep their wounds hidden, or try
to, and bury the memories of their combat in the deepest possible
graves in deep caves carved into the far corners of their souls.
Veterans of Terrorism include a vast range.
At the most extreme pole are rape, child abuse and molestation
victims, the vast majority of whom keep their Terrorism private,
hiding it from view to the world, but living with it forever in the
dark moments when their minds or thoughts are spun out of control,
reliving the violations of their humanity by those who use their power
to cripple the innocence of others.
At the opposite end are those people who
feel they are "less than," or "not as worthy as" others, their
self-images battered as though someone had taken a baseball bat and
smashed their kneecaps, hobbling them throughout life to believe that
what they see in a mirror represents a "nothing," a "nobody" who has
been overlooked by life's gifts, and resigns themselves to being a
nail while the world around them seems to be a hammer.
In the middle are all varying degrees
of Veterans of Terrorism, from the hard-working guy or gal who gets
laid off because the boss likes the curves of the woman he just hired,
to the raping and ravaging of 401k's by Corporate Terrorists who raid
the wealth of individuals, stripping them bare of their life's
Victims of Terrorism are shuffled off in
our society, as they are in most all society's. Few seek
ways to resolve the open wounds they suffer, and instead, employ
denial and vainglorious attempts to manage their Terrorism by
"Stand up on your own two feet! Let
Go! Move on! Fill your life with the good and
forget the past! Use the experience as a tool!"
Thousands of bumper sticker
statements ping-pong about the Terror Victim's life, forcing the
individual to feel impotent to handle the wounds, and so rather than
undergo a life-long effort of therapy to remove the scars, the wounds
pop up in their behavior, twisting their thinking, forcing them to
assume positions that are defensive.
Many learn not to trust anyone.
Others seek religious comfort, absorbing and becoming evangelists in
hopes the unctuous ointment of salvation might sate the horror of
their feelings, might erase the feelings of being "less than," of
living life as a "victim" instead of a participant in the evolution of
discovering life's many mysteries.
These Veterans of Terrorism, sadly, pass
their infection onto their children or to those loved ones around
them, or their employees, and, in the case of tyrants and oppressors,
to their nations by turning their citizens into pawns to be used at
the whim of the leader. Unknowingly, in the majority of
cases, they become Seeds of Terrorism, for their untreated wounds
spill over upon others, tainting their ultimate humanness by darkening
their souls, eclipsing their ability to tackle life with joy and
The Beast pf
Terror thrives on individual Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
The Beast of Terror who thrives on
individual Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, roars with delight over
their plight. He sits on his perch looking down as a
vulture would a wounded prey, waiting for the right moment to sink his
fangs or claws into their dark secrets, hissing in their ears:
"Loser! Failure! No Good! Not Good Enough! Not
Smart Enough! Not Worthy Enough! Not Equal Enough!"
The Veterans of Terrorism have little
recourse but to listen to the Beast if they are unaware that it is the
Beast talking to them. The Beast disguises his Voice and makes it
sound like self-talk, modulates his vocal cords so that the person
thinks the Beast is his own mind reinforcing the pain and anguish of
the past when, as a child, the individual was not taught how to be a
Sentinel of Vigilance, was not skilled in turning Fear into Courage,
or replacing Intimidation with Conviction, or unaware that Right
Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children would
overpower Complacency and remove from the child that feeling of
impotency, that sense of disenfranchisement and marginalization that
serves as protein for the Beast.
On Memorial Day I was not
thinking of my friends and comrades who died in battle, or were
wounded physically or emotionally by war's ugly nature.
I thought of the child who is told by his or her parents: "I
wish you weren't born," and the terrible wound such a caustic,
Terroristic statement would do to an innocent young mind seeking only
to be loved, appreciated, nurtured into becoming a vibrant being who
could achieve incredible feats if the mind were not burdened by scars
that limited its evolution.
I thought of
the wounds caustic remarks make on the souls of children
I thought of my own scars, and how I have
struggled to overcome them, and how I think I have failed to do so in
so many ways. I thought specifically of a teacher I
had in high school who told me I should enroll in auto mechanics
because I wasn't worthy of going to college, that I didn't have the
"right stuff," and that by being a mechanic I would at least be able
to feed myself. His name was Mr. Pitcher, and he earnestly
believed in what he said, and I earnestly believed he was full of
shit. But, the pain of his labeling me unworthy
intellectually has stuck to me throughout my life. Despite
all my successes with my brain, I often return to that moment in the
hallway when he put his arm over my shoulder and tried to steer me
down, to suppress and destroy any dreams I might have that I wasn't
stupid, or that I wasn't worthy of college.
There may be those who argue that
such events are good, because they force one to react in opposite
ways, but that is nothing more than Complacency to Vigilance.
No adult has the right to demean a child's mind, or his or her dreams.
Yet this is done daily, in many forms, and many ways, by
well-intentioned but mis-guided people.
victims have evil persons destroyed?
Then there are the cruel people who
delight in destroying others with their power and might.
Everyone has met or known or worked with or been involved with in some
shape or form an "evil" person with no conscience, who, when all is
said and done, is the Beast incarnate.
How many victims have they wounded,
Human souls are living things.
Parts of many souls die. Those who once dreamed
great dreams and gave them up have buried their dreams for themselves
and others. They are like the soldiers buried in the
graves of war, faint memories of what once could have been but now
lies in decay, a reminder that to try and achieve means sudden death,
or slow death, so why try?
In my experience in combat, the less
trained and skilled the warrior, the higher the odds of death and
wounding. It was as if nature knew who the weak were, and
they seemed to be the first to step on a booby trap or take a bullet.
Memorial Terrorism Day is a day we
need to address. What can we do--we who are victims of all
forms of Terrorism, it's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--to heal
the scars of the Beast of Terror? To remove the stains on our
souls? To shine light in the dark caves of our secret
Most of us don't want to face our
Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies because the cost to our
emotional balance is too dangerous. Over time, we have
learned to balance our pain by burying it, and to dig it up seems to
be nothing more than a rehashing of holocausts of the self we prefer
to keep locked up.
But if we choose to no longer live as
Victims of Terrorism, we must have a reason greater than the
discomfort it may take to heal our wounds. That reason is
the Children's Children's Children.
Veterans of Wars almost universally are
against war, because they have seen the damage it creates.
Victims of Terrorism are also against it. But, how do they
effectively create "peace" from "war?"
The answer is to become a Sentinel of
Vigilance. The only secure way to battle the Beast
of Terror is to fight it on its own grounds--from within not without.
When we take the Pledge of Vigilance and vow to not let our Beast of
Terror ravage us with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, but rather
to replace those attacks with at least One Percent more Courage,
Conviction and Right Actions for the benefit of the Children's
Children's Children, we are now standing up to the Beast.
Our motivation for doing this is not
selfish. If we are to muster the courage to face the
Beast, we do it not to heal our wounds, but to protect the well-being
of our loved ones.
We fight for the freedom of others,
even though we may be scarred ourselves for life.
The Veterans of Wars fought for the
freedom of others in foreign lands. They paid with
their lives and souls.
We Veterans of
Terrorism fight for the freedom of others in foreign lands and at
We, the Veterans of Terrorism, fight
for the freedom of others not only in foreign lands, but at home, here
in our living rooms.
When we become a Sentinel of
Vigilance, we learn to communicate to a child the beauty of life.
This beauty includes being able to stop the ugliness that tries to
mask the beauty. If we can pass onto the child the Sword
and Shield of Vigilance, the Tools of Vigilance, the Principles of
Vigilance, we are now healing ourselves. The value
of our life has expanded. Whatever wounds we carry will
now have benefit to the innocent.
If you are a Veteran of
Terrorism, salute yourself.
Then, take the Pledge of
Vigilance and become Sentinel of Vigilance for yourself and others.
May 29--Where Are You
On The 900th Day Of The War On Terrorism