Saturday--October 5, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 388
Ejecting A Father Of Vigilance
"No!" "No!" "No!
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, October 5--When my wife and I were in the 16-acre tomb of Ground
Zero on September 11, 2002, bidding farewell to photographer Bill Biggart
who died taking photos of the heroic attempts to save 25,000 people from
the World Trade Center, I missed hearing the name of Tatiana Ryzhov.
memorial, sad day, as the cello sang mournful notes from its strings, the
loudspeakers issuing a final salute to more than 2,800 victims of Nine
Eleven, the names blended into one another. They resonated off
the 60-foot walls of earth, carved down to the bedrock upon which the Twin
Towers were built. There was an odd smell in the air--of
decayed earth, motor oil from the huge cranes and heavy earth-moving
equipment, mixed with the scent of roses people carried to place on the
gravesites of their loved ones--a final tribute to a moment of infamy.
I didn't know about
Tatiana Ryzhov on that day, when tears fell at seven miles per hour from
the eyes of family members, christening the soil with their sadness,
blessing it with their hope that they rested in eternal peace.
I didn't know if Vasily Ryzhov, the husband of Tatiana, or their two
children, Alexei, 15 and Danila, 9, were present, bidding goodbye to their
mother and Vasily's wife.
The 36-year-old Tatiana
worked for the British firm Regus, located on the 93rd floor of the south
tower. She had applied for her "green card," and also for her
children. Her older son was born in Moscow, but her daughter was
born in the United States giving her automatic citizenship.
Her green card was approved for herself and her children. Next
on her agenda was to petition the INS for her husband to receive his green
The Terrorist attack severed that option.
In the aftermath, the INS ruled that Vasily
Ryzhov didn't belong in the United States. He was denied a
residence permit, banned from holding a job, and enjoined to leave the
United States after paying a $5,000-dollar fine for violating the visa
regime. His son and daughter, however, were allowed to stay in
the country--minus, their father, minus their mother.
A contractor, Ryzhov isn't optimistic about
being granted residency in the United States. He was quoted in
Pravda, the Russian central newspaper, on October 1 of this year as
saying: "What can be expected from a department (INS) which half a
year after the terrorist attacks extended the American visas of terrorist
hijackers, while expelling from the country the father of two children
left motherless after September 11?"
Ryzhov is a refugee from
Tbilisi, Georgia He has no desire to go to Russia or return to
Georgia. Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, which sought it
independence after the collapse of communism.
Catch 22 applies to Ryzhov. The
INS said they would grant him a green card if he was married to a green
card holder, Pravda reported, however, since his wife is dead, the INS
ruled he has no reason to be in the United States.
His lawyers are pressing for a review of
the decision within 30 days.
Ward Cossman, in a guest editorial
supporting Ryzhov and published in the Russian News Network, attacks
the hypocrisy of the INS in denying the father of two motherless children
the right to live in America. Cossman says, "Mr. Ryzhov is, in
fact, a refugee from a war-torn land racked by poverty and political
instability, brings with him a different culture and language, history,
traditions and customs contributing to the cult of diversity, and traveled
to the U.S., like generations before him, for a better life. Perhaps
we are seeing the true colors that so many have long suspected of U.S.
immigration discriminatory, unfair and tilted heavily in favor of
As a Voice of Vigilance, I find it unfair
to deny a father the right to raise his children in America, especially
since one of the children was born here, and has established the "natural
rights" of any citizen.
It also seems to be the families of those
killed by the Terrorists on Nine Eleven have assumed a higher level of
"citizenship" than most others. They bear the sacrifice of
their loved one's death.
If there was a case for
reconsideration, I would think Vasily Ryzhov's would be placed on the top
of the pile. If those who died that fateful day of September
11, 2001, were indeed Symbols of Vigilance, then the light that shines
from their angelic wings must first fall upon their families who bear the
incredible loss of a loved one.
That light also gives
defacto "citizenship," in my opinion, for it is drenched in blood--the
blood of hope and belief in America.
Tatiana Ryzhov and her husband came to
America to find a better life. Tatiana paid the ultimate price
for that right to a better life.
To penalize her husband, the Father
of Vigilance for her two children, by sending him back to a country he
fled, seems as Terroristic as the Terrorists who flew the planes into the
World Trade Center. As they sought to destroy the fabric of
America, the INS may be unconsciously appeasing the Terrorists appetite to
induce Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into society by booting out the
father of the motherless children.
Since Terrorism comes in many forms, the INS ought well to think
through the case of Vasily Ryzhov. They ought to
grant him a green card solely on the grounds he is a Father
of Vigilance, and deserves, as any patriot, the full and unbridled
rights of those who made America such a great nation.
him from this country would be, without question, another ash
falling from the World Trade Center, and cause 2,800 tears to
fall from the Sentinels of Vigilance who stand for Courage,
Conviction and Right Actions above Ground Zero.
4--Global Economic Vigilance
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