Intro: GO TO STORY DIRECTORY
To the Principles Of Vigilance
My name is Cliff McKenzie. I am a survivor of Nine Eleven,
and a Sentinel of Vigilance. I'm also Editor of 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
Editor Cliff McKenzie,
giving "thumbs up" for Vigilance
I recall 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 facing
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 words came. I only know they remind today that
beauty exists in Vigilance and ugliness in Terrorism.
In the aftermath of the
buildings' collapse, I sank into the rubble amidst the ashes
of death and destruction and pounded out my thoughts and feelings
of that precise moment in history. I knew I was at the
epicenter of an event that held monumental proportion. I knew
I must capture it in its raw majesty.
No photograph or painting can
ever encompass the horror of war. I knew my words were
only grains of sand on a beach of historic human violence, but
I struck the keys of my ancient MacIntosh laptop with the same
passion any artist might knowing that this may be his or her
last painting, his or her last report, last legacy of man's
inhumanity unto others.
. I also knew there was something powerful in the
ashes of destruction. The more I hit the keys on my computer,
the more I knew I was being directed to find the secret of the
ashes. Everything had been pulverized. Human beings were atomic
fragments floating through the air, part of pall that shrouded
everything. But, within it, inside those atoms, at the core
of the horror and destruction, I knew there must be something
of value, some lession, some message that would be worth the
incredible loss of life.
I sought to find the answer, and if not right then, to capture
the pieces of the puzzle so I might later put them together.
Today, millions of words later, the puzzle unfolds via the VigilanceVoice.com.
VISION OF THAT DAY
My vision of September
11, 2001, included witnessing a halo around the burning Twin
Towers. I saw a great ring of white whirlwinding around
the buildings. 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. I was amazed
the birds could withstand the heat and considered them a sign,
As people trapped inside
leaped from the windows--some alone, flailing their arms fruitlessly
as wings, others holding hands in a unified leap of life to
death--I kept switching my attention back to the massive circle
of white fluttering objects dancing around the Towers. I continued
to be amazed at how a flock of birds could be caught in the
currents of such a catastrophe.
In those moments of switching
my eyes from the horror of death to the ecclesiastical sight
of a white halo composed of birds, the reality of what I was
actually seeing dawned. At first, I didn't want to accept the
truth. I wanted the message of meaning to overpower the harsh
reality that what I was witnessing wasn't a flock of doves giving
tribute to the trapped people dying by the minute, but in fact
, millions of sheets of paper caught in a cyclonic ebbing and
flooding around the building. The "halo" was held
by some magnetic force of heat and updrafts, kept aloft by the
fire's thirst to feed on oxygen.
Despite the truth my "doves"
were paper, I called the ring The Sentinel of Vigilance Halo.
It was and is my signal
that the spirits of all those who died that day rose up and
remain standing guard over Ground Zero as reminders we must
fight the Triad of Terrorism with the Principles of Vigilance.
I likened the "Souls of the Sentinels" to the Spartans
who the Greek poet Simonides saluted for holding back tens of
thousands of Persians 2500 years earlier.
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 three years 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 nearly 2 million (2,000,000).
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, or a Guardian
of Vigilance to protect future generations from the Beast of
Terror, I have provided a number of tools and systems.
The primary tool is the
Pledge of 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 child's
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 upon
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 other children.
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 Beast's arrival.
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 love.
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
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
TO STORY DIRECTORY
Comment: The VigilanceVoice attempts
to have no politics. It seeks to be apolitical,
arguing the need for Vigilance as best it can from the point
of view of the Children's Children's Children. We
attempt to present our views free of race, religion,
political, social, economic, cultural prejudices and righteous
opinions. We are not always successful. Personal prejudices
based on our cultures and belief systems do creep in.
Our intent, however, is to keep our vision pure and uncluttered
as best we can to make our point. That point
is that the Rights of Children are universal, void of trappings
measured by the color of their skin, the land in which they
are born, the culture the child grows within, and the belief
systems taught to the child. The Equal Rights Of The Children's
Children's Children's Future to be free of the Beast of
Terror supercede, or should, any and all of our failures
to present arguments void of some hint of our political
and social views. We ask you to not judge us should you
think we have violated our apolitical position. Instead,
we ask you to judge our intent to preserve and protect the
Vigilant Rights of The Children's Children's Children to
be free from the Beast of Terror's Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. We feel confident that intent, in this
arena, is as pure as humanely possible. Cliff
McKenzie, Editor and Founder, VigilanceVoice.com.