Welcome To the
Principles Of Vigilance
Intro: GO TO STORY DIRECTORY
My name is Cliff McKenzie.
I am a survivor of Nine Eleven, and a Sentinel of Vigilance.
And Editor of the VigilanceVoice.
The VigilanceVoice was
born on September 11, 2001. It came into existence as
I sat in the rubble of the World Trade Center, looking up at the
cloud-choked September sky, remembering the people leaping from
burning buildings and the horrendous crash of two giant Twin Tower
icons that buried nearly 3,000 in the first Terrorist attack by
a foreign nation since the War of 1812.
Editor Cliff McKenzie,
giving "thumbs up" for Vigilance
I remember pulling a group of crying
women against a wall as the buildings around us exploded. Frightened,
they screamed mournfully: "We're all going to die. We're all
going to die!." As a veteran of more than 100 combat operations
in Vietnam, I had some experience with death. I said in as comforting
a Voice as possible: "Think of something beautiful. If this is
our last moment, think of something beautiful!"
To this day, I do not know from where those
They sprouted up within me, a reminder that
life is not futile even in its last moments, and that if you seek the beauty
of life, you can find it in the worst and most horrific of times.
In the aftermath of the buildings'
collapse, I sat down with my computer amid the ashes of death and
destruction and pounded out my thoughts and feelings of that precise moment
in history. I knew it was an event of monumental proportion, one that
must be captured in its raw majesty. I knew no photograph or
painting could ever encompass the horror of
war. I knew my words were only grains of sand on a beach of human
violence, but struck the keys of he laptop with the same passion of anyone
trying to preserve the moment's best quality. I knew there was
something powerful being left in the ashes. I sought to find it.
Nothing as horrible as what happened that day could have happened without
some ultimate benefit to us all. I sought to find the answer,
and if not the answer right then, to capture the pieces of the puzzle so I
might later put them together.
My vision of September 11, 2001, included
witnessing a halo around the burning Twin Towers. It was a great ring of
white, at first I thought it was a flock of doves or seagulls caught in the
vortex of black and red and orange balls of fire gushing from the viscera of
the building to create a whirlwind hundreds of feet in the sky.
As the bodies leaped from the windows, some
alone, flailing their arms fruitlessly as wings, others holding hands in a
unified leap of life to death, I was drawn to the massive circle of
white fluttering objects dancing in a great circle around the Towers, a ring
of undulating motion not unlike a flock of birds caught in the currents of
It seemed an eternity to me that I tried to
conclude what the orbiting objects were, and then, finally it dawned on me
that they were thousands, perhaps millions of sheets of paper caught in a
cyclonic ebbing and flooding around the building, held by some magnetic
force of heat and updrafts, shoved by the fire's thirst to feed on oxygen,
drawing the wind toward the orange-black balls of flames eating away at the
structure that would eventually bring down the Twin Towers in less than ten
seconds to a pile of rubble.
For me, the circle became a sign.
I called it the Sentinel of Vigilance Halo.
It was and is a sign that the spirits of
all those who died that day rose up and remain standing guard over Ground Zero to
remind us to fight the Triad of Terrorism with the Principles of Vigilance.
Since September 11, 2001, I have written daily a
diary on the issues of Terrorism and how the Principles of Vigilance can
overcome them. Over the past 693 days from Ground Zero, I have
averaged some 2,000 words per day written on how we, Parents and Loved Ones
of Vigilance, can protect our children and ourselves from the ravages of the
Beast of Terror.
Including other materials I have written in this
website, the total words I've dedicated to battling Terrorism amount to 1.5
million (1,500,000). Each and every word has but one purpose--to
remind the reader that Terrorism is nothing more than a combination of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. Further, that to combat this Triad
of Terrorism--Fear, Intimidation, Complacency--one needs only apply the
Principles of Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions in behalf of
the Children's Children's Children.
To aid readers in achieving the goal of
becoming a Sentinel of Vigilance, a Guardian of Vigilance to protect future
generations from the Beast of Terror, I have provided a number of tools and
The primary tool is the
Vigilance. It is a simple vow taken by a dedicated Parent or Loved One
of Vigilance that reminds him or her of the duty and responsibility to help
a child battle Fear with Courage, Intimidation with Conviction, and
Complacency with Right Actions for future generations.
The engine of Vigilant Effort required is
simple. I've provided a formula for Sentinels of Vigilance, reminding
them they need only encourage One Percent more Courage than Fear, One
Percent more Conviction than Intimidation, and One Percent more Right Action
than Complacency to defeat the Beast of Terror in any battle.
Since Terrorism is not just about blowing
up buildings, or suicide bombings, but also includes the self-destruction of
a person's worth by delimiting human character and poisoning human values,
the battle of self-worth is an endless one. It stretches back to
the beginning of time when Cain clubbed Able to death over a petty jealousy,
and looms today in its grandiose form with Kim Jong Il rattling nuclear
weapons at the world.
But sandwiched between the dawn and sunset
of Terrorism is its endless nights, when a child is ravaged by nightmares,
or grows up thinking he or she is unloved, uncared for, less-than,
not-as-good-as others for a wide variety of reasons that have little do with
race, color, creed, economic, political, social or religious status.
The mother who drives her children into a
lake to die is one extreme, but a mother who turns angrily to a child
seeking love and attention and yells: "Don't bother me, I'm busy," can
inflict as much Terror in a child's heart as a stranger with a knife to the
My goal in the VigilanceVoice
is to bring to the surface the Hidden Terrorisms of the soul, which I
believe are the breeding grounds for all Terrorism.
We, who look into the mirror and see the loser,
the failure, the righteous, the lord over others, feed the Beast.
Whether rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful, we can fall into the
Beast's discipleship through swallowing the selfishness of Pride, Anger,
Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony and Sloth--the fuel that fires the Beast's wrath
Being a Sentinel of Vigilance means we
inspect our own house first and identify the Beast Within and do our best to
control and manage his or her hunger to rule our lives, to direct our behavior in
ways that limit our humanity and cleave our ability to pass on the great
qualities we possess as human beings not only to our own children, but all
Once we have a handle on our own Beast of
Terror, we then begin to help our children and loved ones tame their Beast.
We supply them with the tools of Vigilance we have used to keep our Beast at
bay. We become Sentinels of Vigilance, guarding ourselves and others
from the Beast who lurks in the shadows of all of our minds and souls waiting for our
Complacency, our Intimidation or our Fear to fling open the door to the
Homeland Security, I believe, begins
within us all. It starts with the Pledge of Vigilance being downloaded
and posted on your refrigerator door, and read daily as a reminder to keep
your guard up against the Beast who is doing pushups, waiting for that
precise moment to rear his or her ugly head and turn your tongue into a rapier, or
to make you cower in the corner of your self until your sense of futility
manifests itself into Complacency, signaled by such statements as:
"What can I do? I'm a loser! I'm a nobody!" Or, worse, "I'm somebody special.
I'm too busy. Let someone else do it!"
While none of us is perfect in our battles
with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, equally true is that none of us is
sharp at battling them unless we counter their effects with Courage,
Conviction and Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's
Children. We, as human beings, can ill afford to let the Beast
of Terror rule our lives, either from the image reflecting us in the
mirror, or in the skies over our heads. We cannot abdicate the
role of being a Parent of Vigilance or Loved One of Vigilance without paying
a huge price of neglect.
This website is about providing you, the
concerned Citizen of Vigilance, with the tools to improve your life today,
and the lives of those you most care about.
As you read the stories I write each day, I
urge you to relate them to how you might better secure your home and family
and loved ones from the ravages of the Beast of Terror.
Human Common Sense is the most powerful of
weapons against Terrorism, but one of the most dangerous of all thoughts
that paves the road for the Beast is the one that suggests or implies that
someone else is in charge of your Homeland Security.
Nothing could be more false.
We must take the Sword and Shield of Vigilance in
our grasps, and use them to fight the Beast. If we don't, the
Beast will consume us in pieces, taking a bite here and a chunk there until
the foundations of our human character are eaten away and we fall deep into
the rut of Complacency, demanding that others do something while we sit in
our armchairs griping and complaining.
The great pay-off for this effort is
knowing we have armed our children and Loved Ones to be able to withstand
the Breath of the Beast when he hisses in our ears we are "unworthy," or
"unable," or "unfit" to stand up as a leader in our own behalf.
I personally fight my Beast daily, and have
for many years. I do not pretend the battle to be easy, but I do share
it is ultimately rewarding when someone you love and care about uses the
tools you pass on to enrich his or her own life and faces Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit future
Each time that happens I know the battle
with the Beast has been worthwhile, even if the distance between the effort
and the result seems forever.
So, I ask you to read the website
carefully. Keep in mind that the stories you read all have one
purpose--to supply you with tools, information and motivation to better ward
off the attacks by the Beast of Terror either upon yourself or those you
You will find stories written by wife, GMa
Lori, designed for children. Her aim is to reveal to parents how
to better communicate to the child, and she uses her experience with our three
grandchildren as guideposts for her messages. Her goal is to fight the
Triad of Terrorism with the Principles of Vigilance, just as mine is.
Hopefully, you will find what we write for
you a roadmap to help you better defend yourself and your family from the
nefarious harm the Beast wishes to inflict upon you and your loved ones.
You can start your Journey to Vigilance
today by downloading the Pledge of Vigilance. Then, start
practicing the Principles in your daily life. And, pass them on to
your loved ones.
You can only become richer as a human being
and safer as a guardian to the future as a result.