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OVERVIEW OF STORY: The deaths of more than 3,000 people on September 11, 2001 does not mean they have disappeared from the earth. There are some who can still hear the 110,000 heartbeats of each person chiming throughout the day, reminding everyone to be his or her own Sentinel of Vigilance. If you cannot hear their heartbeats, you will when you finish reading this.

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1053 DAYS--New York, NY, July 29, 2004--It is hard to imagine the heartbeats of the dead. But if you listen hard, you can hear them.

By all scientific and physiological laws the heart stops beating to signal death. Blood, the fuel that runs through the pipeline of the body, stops feeding the cells nourishment.

Starving, the brain suffocates. It runs out of gas when the heart stops. Electricity snapping from synapse to synapse to create brain activity flickers like a choking candle void of oxygen until it finally futile gasps end in a flatline representing "no life."

There are those, like myself, who refuse to believe the"DEAD" are "dead"

A pronouncement of "DEATH" is administered. Tears flow. Graves are dug. Life is buried into the womb of the earth; the flesh is rejoined to its original state, mulch. But the soul! Ah, the soul!

There are those, like myself, who refuse to believe the "DEAD" are "dead."

We, whoever "we" are, believe there is something far more powerful about human existence than our blood and bones and flesh. This is not a religious belief per se but a spiritual one.

If it is true that nothing is created or destroyed, that all things simply come and go in different shapes and forms, majestically orchestrated over billions of years of evolutionary expansion, then, while the human body may be crushed to death under the rubble of millions of pounds of steel and concrete from a Terrorist attack, the spirits of those who died, the molecular or atomic DNA of their existence, their purpose in life and for life, cannot be destroyed. In some boundless manner, the essence of those who died remain in some structure, fingerprints of the past embossed upon the present and signposting the future.

The hearts of the Souls of Vigilance--those 2,792 who have been identified as victims of the World Trade Center attack--have not skipped a beat since life was crushed from their physical beings. Neither have the 124 from the Pentagon, or the 40 aboard the United Flight that crashed in Shanksville, Pa that fateful day.

Here it is 1082 days from Ground Zero. I can still hear the beats of the hearts of those who died, just as I can hear their screams as they fell or jumped from a quarter mile high that morning to hasten death. They live as Sentinels of Vigilance, invisible to those who don't believe in anything but the physical. They stand alert and proud in a Circle of Vigilance hovering over Ground Zero, warning the Beast of Terror that he is not free to move about. That he is being hunted, exposed and will one day be terminated.

In a single day, a Sentinel of Vigilance enjoys 110,000 heartbeats. In a month, 2.6 million. In a year, more than 31.6 million. The sounds of those heartbeats pound into the ears of the Beast of Terror who tries to stuff cotton in people's ears so they will not hear them. The Beast hopes they will fall Complacent to their own duty and responsibility to promote Vigilance, to monitor it at home, to defend it so that it might be available to the Children's Children's Children.

Don't grow deaf to the daily heartbeats of the Sentinels of Vigilance
We are quick to grow deaf to the daily 333 million heartbeats of the Sentinels of Vigilance


The sounds of the combined heartbeats of all 3,030 Sentinels of Vigilance who died in the combined attack on the WTC, Pentagon and aboard United Fight 93 that crashed in Shanksville represents 333 million per day, and 121 billion per year.

We are quick to grow deaf to these heartbeats.

We are quick to bury the dead. We are quick to think they have "passed" and no longer "exist" in a form we can recognize--one subject to touch and feel.

Yet they do live on. One only has to feast his or her eyes on a monument of any nature depicting the struggle of humanity to overcome Terrorism of all various sizes and shapes to understand that the memory of Vigilance never dies.

The statue of Blind Justice is but one small example. She stands with a blindfold holding a scale--a symbol of measuring right versus wrong on the facts not on opinion. To the casual passerby, she is only a statue, a decorative symbol. But to one who believes in "justice," and is a student of all human history, he or she knows she is as alive as though her marble or plaster were warm flesh and blood, and such a person can hear the heartbeat of the Spirit of Justice beating as loudly through the inanimate composition as if it were a person hooked to an echo chamber and the pulse of the blood gushing and rushing was being broadcast in stereo, surround sound.

Bline Justice is an example of life
Blind Justice is an example of life

The music lover who sits at the foot of a statue of Mozart or Beethoven can hear the scratch of the great composers' quills scribing musical notes that will ring forever in the ears and strike the hearts of millions upon millions throughout time eternal. Such a statue is not icy cold marble to an aficionado of great music, but warm and pulsing, as though it were about to vibrate off its pedestal and walk triumphant.

Heartbeats? Are they real?

Vigilance is about seeing into the future through the lens of the past. It is about protecting the children. A mother pauses with her child before crossing the street even if she doesn't see a car coming. In her mind, there is "always" a car coming even if she doesn't see one at that precise moment.

The heartbeats of those who died on September cannot be deadened by time. If we are truly Vigilant, then we must turn up the volume as time passes, for the distance between the reality of what happened on September 11, 2001 and the desire to "go on with life as normal" tends to weaken the signal of the Sentinels of Vigilance. One day, if we are not cautious, we will no longer hear the heartbeats of the thousands who died that day warning us to be Semper Vigilantes--Always Vigilant.

Listen for the heartbeats of those who died on Nine_Eleven
Listen for the heartbeats of those who died on Nine-Eleven

That's why today when I hear my heartbeat as I climb the fifty-nine stairs to my apartment, I hear not just the beat of my own heart, but the chorus of those who died on Nine Eleven chanting that we must not concede to Complacency, that we must take the Pledge of Vigilance daily in our lives as a tool to protect our children from all the various nefarious forms of Terrorism. It is the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that settles in and clogs our ears from hearing the beating of the Sentinels of Vigilance's hearts.

Sometimes I put my ear to my two-year-old grandson's chest and listen to his heart. It reminds me that I am here today as a Sentinel, a living one, who pays homage to the sounds of the heartbeats of my brothers and sisters who might have physically died on September 11, 2001, but whose real life continues as a drumbeat, a signal that I should never forget why they died.

When I do not forget, they come to life.

And their heartbeats ring like thousands of bells, letting me know I am not alone in my quest for Vigilance.


WTC stats September 11, 2001


Go To: July 28 "Fear Of Falling From The Grace Of The Sentinels Of Vigilance


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