Dec. 19--Wednesday--Ground Zero Plus 99
Cliff McKenzie
 Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent Team

           Last night my wife and I had dinner with a friend who flew in from California.   He’s a “big wig” with Prudential Life Insurance.   In our conversation which ranged from “How Are You?” to “What do you think about us attacking Iraq?” I began to probe the economic impact of September 11th on the insurance companies—had they suffered?
            Quite the contrary was Tom’s answer.   Pre-Nine Eleven, life insurance sales were taking a nose dive.   Post-Nine Eleven, he said, they shot up and have been steadily climbing ever since.    The highest sales are on the East Coast, he reported, and form a slide with the bottom of it at the West Coast.
            “Suddenly, people realized they were vulnerable,” he said over coffee at our favorite Starbucks near Astor Place.   “The young, invincible thirty-to-thirty-five year olds saw their peers killed.  They saw their families left without enough money to pay the rent or mortgage.  And sales for insurance spiked and have held.”
           Tom also has grandchildren.  We talked a lot about protecting them with “emotional insurance,” the kind that helps a child a combat terrorism from within.
            When he wanted to know what we were doing with our website, we told him we were offering “Emotional Insurance” to parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews to pass on to the young ones in their families.    We talked about how fear, intimidation and complacency seeps into a child’s mind, and how becoming a Sentinel of Vigilance can help a child process and understand those fears.
            Physical security is obvious, we stated.  It’s easy to see the possibility of leaving a family without protection.   But, Emotional Protection is harder to see.   It’s hard to look into a child’s mind and see the fear, the doubt, the worry, the bogeymen that lurk there.  
            As we related the various stories that G-Ma Lori had written about dealing with the issues of Emotional Terrorism with our grandchildren, Tom’s eyes brightened.   He began to think about the power of communicating with his grandchildren at a different, deeper level.
            “I guess you have to first recognize that Terrorism exists in a child to start looking for it.   When I go back home (he lives on the West Coast) I’m going to listen harder to my grandchildren, and use some of the ideas to help them counterbalance those Emotional Terroristic Thoughts.”
            We finished our coffee and walked Tom to the subway.   As we walked, a herd of fire trucks screamed onto the street.  Firemen jumped out ready to do battle with flames.   American flags fluttered in the chill wind as they prepared to fight the Terror of fire.  Fortunately, it was a fire in a restaurant, easily put out.    But as the trucks roared up, and the lights flashed, there was a moment of fear.   Was it a bomb?  Was it a terrorist attack? 
            As an adult, I processed the information quickly.   But, I wondered about a child?  What would a three- or five-year-old think?   Would those sounds bring back the innate Terror of the past?   Would the sirens always trigger the thought of people dying rather than being saved?
            In our conversation with Tom, we emphasized the fact not that over 3,000 people died at the World Trade Center, but rather than over 25,000 people were saved in the process.
            “You know, I didn’t realize that.  All I hear on the news is how many died.  That’s amazing,” he said.
            “If you tell your grandkids about how many were saved by the bravery of the firemen and police, it might help counter-balance the Terror of that day.  It was a day of bravery as well as a day of horror.   Terrorism would like us to forget the thousands who were saved, and focus on the dead and missing.  It helps them strike fear in our hearts.  That’s what they want the most,” my wife underscored.
            “Yes.  When the conversations come up, I’m going to talk about the bravery more.  About the good of the day.  I don’t think I have to talk about the bad of September 11th.  Kids need to know about the bravery, the courage, don’t they?”

            “Yes,” G-Ma Lori beamed.   “That’s what Grandparents of Vigilance do.   They insure a child’s mind against Terroristic Thoughts.”
            Tom smiled.   “Maybe besides life insurance, we should sell Vigilance Insurance,” he offered.

Go To  12-18--Resurrection Of A Patriotic Tear

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