ZERO PLUS 1089 DAYS--New York, NY, Friday,
September 3, 2004--Three
dates should be branded in our minds as we peel off the days
remaining until the third anniversary of September 11, 2001.
The first is
1776, the benchmark date of the American Revolution's evolution
from a state of Terrorism to a state of Democracy.
battle against Terrorism in America began in 1776 with
the freedom of individuals fighting an oppressive government
The second date
is 1735. This is not a measure of time. It is the number of
protesters arrested in New York City during the Republican
Convention. Six-hundred of those arrested were from New York,
the balance from other states.
The third date
is 2948. As with the former, it is not a meaure of time. The
number 2948 represents all the confirmed deaths of those who
died on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, the
Pentagon and the ill-fated crash of the airliner headed toward
the White House or Capital.
There is a final
number no one at this precise moment knows for sure. It is
the number of children killed as a result of the Terrorist
siege on a Russian middle school where as high as 1,500 parents,
children and teachers were held hostage by bomb-laden Terrorists
who threatened to blow up everyone if their demands were not
The battle against
Terrorism began in 1776 with the freedom of individuals from
of a true democracy is to teach self-government and
responsibility for the children's future
The goal of a
true democracy is to teach individuals how to self-govern
and to take individual responsibility for their future and
the future of their children and their children's children's
For well over
two hundred years, America has struggled to maintain the principles
of democracy by fighting for them not only at home, but abroad.
When a nation is willing to send its youth to die in foreign
lands for the same ideal it represents, few can question the
commitment such a nation has to stand up for Vigilance and
to defeat Terrorism.
is the fear of standing up to bullies. It is trying to hide
from Terrorism's shadow. France is one example. For many reasons,
France led the world in criticizing America for its presence
in the affairs of Iraq, denouncing the right of democracy
to impose itself over tyranny and oppression.
There is not
much logic in France's position, except self-preservation.
France tried to stay neutral to avoid reactions by Terrorists.
But now, France is in the middle of the Terrorism ring. Its
new law banning religious symbols in its schools has been
called an anti-Muslim attack. With more than 5 million Muslim's
in France, and the population growing daily, many consider
France's law as discriminatory.
ban on headscarves, France is in the midst of the Terrorism
it that way too. Two of France's journalists have been captured
and threatened with death if France does not repeal its law.
Despite all its attempts to avert the Beast of Terror, the
Beast has France in its jaws.
appease the Beast of Terror, just as any nation cannot.
That leads us
to the second number--1735. This is the reported number of
arrests during the Republican Convention, according to the
York Times. Only 600 of those arrested were from New York,
suggesting that many protesters who came to the city sought
to rack up handcuffs on their protest gun handles.
It isn't wrong
to protest what needs to be made right, as long as what is
being protested makes better what is for future generations.
This is the foundation of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson's
comment that dissent is a right.
New York City
had millions of people flowing through the political gates
during the convention, with upwards of a half million taking
part in the protest march on Sunday against President Bush
and the Republicans.
One Tenth Of One Percent of total protesters were arrested
Only 1735 people
were arrested out of millions of people comprising the protest
events during the week-long convention. In one day alone,
a million people participated either as protesters or observers.
Over the week, the protest traffic is estimated to be at least
five to eight million, and includes many of the same people
flowing here and there over the Convention time.
But again, only
1735 were arrested. As a percentage of 1,000,000--a very conservative
number of total protesters over the week who were candidates
for arrests, especially considering that half that number
marched on one day--that's barely One Tenth Of One Percent.
is about allowing dissent, then the number 1735 becomes as
important as the number 1776. There were far more than 1,000,000
people protesting something for some reason over the week
of the Republican Convention. Five times that number would
be more accurate. With only 1735 arrests out of 5,000,000
protester arrest options is a salute to democracy, not a bludgeon
If you divide
five into One Tenth Of A Percent, the amount of arrests becomes
such a small grain of sand on such a large beach that every
American should be proud and joyous that democracy proved
its power in New York City. Millions were allowed to rant,
rave, chide, degrade, hiss, spit, scream, event threaten with
such miniscule reaction as to make the angels of democracy
citizens of Democracy need to brace ourselves for the
ongoing seige of Terrorism
But the protesters
don't tout that reality.That's not their job. Their job is
to make their point that the 1735 represent the nation's feelings.
Nothing could be more inaccurate.
The final number:
This is the most current accounting of all those who died
on September 11, 2001.
The number, 2948,
is a reminder--or should be--that Terrorism isn't going to
run away. It's alive and well. It alsomeans we--the citizens
of Democracy--need to brace ourselves and our lives for more
In Russia, Terrorists
have been killing little children, using them as human shields,
torturing them and their parents with threats and fear, blowing
up the school, killing the innocent in an effort to make a
believe that America has no right to face off Terrorism need
to look around the world. While our domestic issues are vital
to our nation, the wealth of our nation is dependent on the
wealth of the world. Today, nations work as one. Economies
are so intertwined that the Terrorism of one is the Terrorism
of another. If Terrorists control the oil, we all suffer.
If Russia is
looking down the barrell of Terrorism, it cannot recover and
become the great nation it can be.
Russia, Terrorists are killing children to make a political
If France kowtows
to Terrorism, it cannot run its nation.
If America denies
the duty to fight Terrorism, it becomes a true victim of its
In many ways,
the arrests of 1735 as a percentage of the millions of protesters
who came to New York City is symbolic of our stand against
If, for example
purposes, one were to look at the 1735 arrested as Terrorists,
America had very few. Most were afraid to attack.
all about trying to inject Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
into a people. New York City refused to let Politicial Terrorism
Anyone who wanted
to be arrested could have been arrested. All they had to do
is walk up to a cop and spit in his or her face. Only 1735
chose to be handcuffed.
means that there are fewer people than one would think who
really despise George Bush and his administration.
Deep down, they
see a nation standing up to Terrorism around the world. And,
the Terrorists know this.
That may be why
they are attacking Spain, Russia, France and other targets.
Maybe they don't
want to take on George W. Bush, or a nation willing to stand
up for what is right for their children's future.
These are all
important dates and numbers.The
last one is the key.
Americans died on September 11, 2001 to awaken us all to the
duty to be Sentinels of Vigilance.
thank the Sentinels of Vigilance for keeping our focus
on fighting Terrorism with Vigilance
We were charged
with that duty in 1776.
And, over the
last week, 1736--less than one tenth of one percent at the
bare minium--found that democracy is still alive in the face
We should all
We should all
look to Ground Zero and thank the Sentinels of Vigilance for
keeping our focus on fighting Terrorism with Vigilance. If
we do that, our children in our schools may remain safe.