The Terrorists' Ball is a time of celebration for those who issue in
the New Year with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. But, there
is another Ball of greater importance. It is the Vigilance Ball.
It offers us all a time to stand up to the Bully Beasts and drench
their Triad of Terrorism with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions
for future generations.
If you haven't read the Legends of Vigilance: A Christmas Story
of the Gift of Vigilance, use the following links to review it:
Legends of Vigilance: Part I
Go to Part V
December 29, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 838
Terrorism's New Year Ball
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Dec. 29, 2003 --
As the clock strikes the final last minute of the final hour of
2003, the Terrorism Ball drops.
Ball is prepared to drop
Similar to the one in Times Square, New York City, it glistens and
delights all the Terrorists who are counting down the end of one year
and the beckoning of another. The time it takes the
Terrorist Ball to drop equals the time it takes to pull the pin on a
hand grenade and count to ten, or, to load a rocket launcher, aim and
fire, or set a land mine in the road so that its pressure cap
protrudes just enough to be engaged by a Humvee tire.
Terrorism is gleeful about a new
year. Despite all attempts to quash it, dig its grave and
shovel in tons of dirt upon its ragged body, Terrorism renews its
thirst each year to deliver upon the world new and more virulent forms
of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
And why not?
The world is ill prepared to battle
Terrorism. It is far too busy trying to pretend it can scare
Terrorism out of existence by surrounding it with guns on one side and
butter on the other. But Terrorism is not dirt.
THE TIME BALL CIRCA 2003 A.D.
Ball Drop in Times Square stems from an even older ritual in
England when a descending Time Ball was a popular method of
signaling noon to allow pocket watches and nearby at sea ships
chronometer's to be reset daily. This tradition continues onward
today in Washington D.C. at the United States Naval Observatory
where it still drops a Time Ball down a flag pole every day at
It can't be
swept away, except under the rug.
The Terrorism Ball will be a gala
event for those few, fractionalized, insanely mad members who believe
that the general population is a herd of sheep, easily frightened into
caves of Complacency when the bombs, bullets and bloodshed rain upon
What the Terrorists forget, however,
is that a new force is surging upon the shores of the world society.
This tidal wave is composed of the Families of Vigilance--mothers,
fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents--who
subscribe to the Pledge of Vigilance and who refuse to let their
Courage be undermined by Fear, or their Conviction to be chewed to
death by the termites of Intimidation, or their concern for taking the
Right Actions that protect the Children's Children's Children to be
stopped by a wall of Complacency.
The Terrorists--the bullies of
the world who seek to threaten everyone in their path--forget there is
a Vigilance Ball.
The Vigilance Ball is a
ceremony held by those who oppose the threats to their children,
grandchildren and loved ones. It occurs not once a year, when
the final minute of the final hour of the past year expires, but each
morning and each evening.
These are the two most
important times in the lives of the Families of Vigilance, for it is
upon the dawn and dusk of the day that they reread the Pledge of
The Pledge of Vigilance,
like grace said before a meal, is a reminder to Family of Vigilance
members that battling Terrorism begins with how one thinks and acts
throughout a day. It is about mustering at least One
Percent more Courage to overcome all forms of Fear, about the
One Percent more Conviction needed to withstand all the torments of
Intimidation, and the One Percent more purposefulness of the
individual to chose the Right Actions that benefit future generations
than to succumb to the feeling of selfishness that drives one under
the blankets and creates walls of denial that one individual cannot
make a difference in this world.
The Pledge of
Vigilance can take the form of a hug
Pledge of Vigilance takes many forms. Not everyone signs the one
listed below, or uses the exact words I have scribed.
Some simply vow with a hug to their children to keep them safe and
happy, to protect them from all forms of harm.
Love, after all, is about
Hate is about
selfishness, self-centered egotism that stops at the end of one's
Terrorists are those
people who cannot see beyond their own needs. They want the
world to revolve around their axis, and justify their actions as
serving a higher order--one that they have proscribed, altered,
bastardized to fit their particular needs, to sate their thirsts.
Some parents, for
example, feel the abuse of their children is a privilege, a right they
are given upon the child's birth. They consider children
chattel and distance themselves from them emotionally, creating great
rifts between parent and child that often cannot be bridged.
The end result is statements such as: "We are from different
worlds," or, more mundanely, "I don't understand you! Why
would you do such a thing?"
of parent and child is a symbol of Terrorism winning
The alienation of parent and child is a symbol of Terrorism's glee
over winning yet another battle. It insures that Terrorism will
survive no matter how many wars are waged against it, for its roots
are not found in the battlefields of Iraq, but rather at the doorsteps
of each village home whether it be a mud hut or an expansion mansion
in Beverley Hills.
smoke clears from the War on Terrorism we watch on television and read
about in the newspapers, its embers will burn in the icy hearts of
those who are breeding Terrorism within their own children.
promote bigotry, prejudice, hatred, selfishness seed the furrows of
future Terrorism. In Iraq, more than 40 percent of
the population is under the age of 15. It is startling to
think that a generation of youth have grown up under the rule of a
tyrant will change overnight into gleaming eagles of democracy.
It takes time and
effort to change one's viewpoints.
Parenting is a
So is learning.
It will be easy to think
when the New Year's Ball drops in Times Square that we will be heading
into a year free from Terrorism. We would all wish that
for not only our sake, but our children's as well.
Ball of Vigilance reminds us all we must be Sentinels of Vigilance
But, it would be
better to see the ball dropping from Times Square as the Ball of
Vigilance rather than just a crystal orb glittering false hopes to
those eager to deny the presence of the Beast of Terror, or his
continued intrusion into their lives.
It might be well if we saw the
Ball of Vigilance dropping as a reminder that we must all assume a
stronger role as Sentinels of Vigilance in the coming year, and that
our greatest New Year's resolution would be to subscribe to the Pledge
of Vigilance morning, noon and night.
Only when we confront
Terrorism, only when we individually go belly-to-belly with the Beast
of Terror within ourselves, will we be victorious over the Beast
That isn't an easy task.
It means we must constantly be
on guard against our Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and, we must
counter it not only within our own lives with Courage, Conviction and
Right Actions for future generations, but, we must also provide
tutelage to the children about the Beast of Terror. We must not
be fearful of making children aware that the Beast thrives on the
child's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, just as he does on our
We must not be hesitant to discuss these
issues in our daily lives and to find ways to surmount them as a
When we are courageous enough to
admit to our own Beast of Terror, the Terrorists stop dancing.
They no longer have a forum of Fear, for we have cut the legs from
under the stool that holds Terrorists aloft.
Our New Years can be free of
Terrorism Within if we decide to banish from our lives the denial that
the Beast of Terror doesn't exist within. This
denial gives the Beast power, for it allows him to move about
unnoticed, unaccounted for.
Make 2004 the
beginning of a new Era of Vigilance
Vigilance reminds us all that the War on Terrorism is never over.
It is an ongoing battle, as it has been since the dawn of time and
will be until the last minute ekes out the last drop of human
existence. Vigilance is about knowing ourselves, our
limitations, and how to overcome them through actions that protect all
When we are Vigilant, the
Terrorist Ball is a dreary event. The Terrorists
wail and whine and slink back into their caves, for they know that all
the Fear, all the Intimidation, and all the Complacency they have at
their disposal will not defeat a Family of Vigilant members who
subscribe to the Vow of Vigilance.
2004, will mark the beginning of a new Era of Vigilance.
Hopefully, it will move us all another step closer to ending the