What is it like for the 739 women who died on September 11, 2001, when
Valentine's Day rolls around? Are they sad and lonely?
Or, happy and joyous? Find out what the Women of Vigilance
think and feel on Valentine's Day, and what advice they have for us
all on this day of "love."
Saturday, February 14,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 885
A Valentine For Vigilance
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 14, 2004 -- Valentine's Day is a
celebration of love. Millions of pounds of candy, and bushels of
flowers will find their way to loved one's.
But there some others who
should not be forgotten on this day, or any day for that matter.
I wish these
Women of Vigilance a Happy Valentine's Day
They are the 739 women who died on September
11, 2001, as a result of the Terrorist attack. Each
of us needs to remember them in our Valentine wishes, and proffer a
Valentine of Vigilance to them as we celebrate this day of love.
According to the FBI, a
total of 3,047 victims died on September 11, 2001 at the hands of
Terrorism. At the World Trade Center, 2,175 males and 648
females perished. The aftermath of the Pentagon attack
left 108 men and 71 women dead. And, the plane
headed toward the White House or Congress that crashed in
Pennsylvania, took the lives of twenty men and twenty women.
This is their Valentine of
I imagined myself
visiting the Women of Vigilance, speaking with them about this day of
love. Here is my conversation:
"Happy Valentine's Day."
I laid down a big box of candy an
armful of flowers.
"I want you to know the love
you have shown to us all over these past 886 days has not gone
"We know," the Mothers of
Vigilance responded. "We watch and guard the children from the
Beast of Terror."
"Love is eternal," I said.
"It doesn't die with the body. The spirit of love cannot die."
"That's why we are here, above
Ground Zero, reminding everyone that we are their Sentinels...their
Mothers and Fathers of Vigilance."
The women reached out and held
the hands of the men. There were three men for every woman
in the Circle of Vigilance.
"How do you feel on Valentine's
Day? Are you sad you are not with your loved ones?" I asked.
"No," the women replied.
"We feel the love. Every day is Valentine's Day for
us, for our children and husbands and loved ones haven't forgotten us.
Each day we receive their love by thoughts and feelings they have for
us. We only wish they would not be sad. When they
cry, our hearts ache."
"It is difficult to lose a
loved one--especially a mother or sister or grandmother."
"We know. That's
why we watch over their souls, guarding them from unnecessary pain.
We strive to replace hate with love, and to keep joy alive over the
despair that often afflicts our loved ones."
A Cupid of
Vigilance shoots arrows of Vigilance aimed at the Beast of Terror
"In a way," I said, "you are Cupids of
The women chuckled.
"Yes, we shoot arrows of Vigilance into our loved one's hearts, aimed
at the Beast of Terror. The Beast of Terror sneaks in and
tries to turn our children and loved ones into balls of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. We won't allow that.
We are Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Grandmothers, Loved Ones of
Vigilance. We do not sleep."
"Then you are Cupids of
"Every day we try our
best to instill Courage, Conviction and Right Actions into all our
loved ones--as any mother would her children and those she loved.
We try and pave their path with love so that when the Beast leaps out
of the bushes and attacks our children or loved ones, they are braced
with Shields of Vigilance, able to thwart the Beast's desire to
dominate their thoughts, to cripple their resolve."
"Then candy and
roses aren't as important to you as Arrows of Vigilance?"
responded, "every woman loves candy and flowers. We
appreciate your gifts. But, the real expression of love is
Vigilance. It is doing the right things that protect the
children. We measure love not by gifts, but by acts.
A mother who embraces her children each and every morning, and stops
everything she is doing to listen to them, and becomes their best
friend so they don't seek the counsel of someone who 'understands'
them better--that's our goal with our Arrows of Vigilance.
The stronger the bond between the child and mother, similarly the
stronger the bond between the father and child, the greater the
protection the child has from the Beast of Terror."
The Spirits of
Vigilance advised all women to become Parents and Loved Ones of
Vigilance on Valentine's Day and every day
advice would you give all women on this Valentine's Day?"
"We would tell them all
to become Parents and Loved Ones of Vigilance. To take the
Pledge of Vigilance and vow each day to keep their families and loved
one's safe from the Beast of Terror's wrath. Love is
about putting yourself second. We gave our lives for our
children and loved ones. We still offer them
love from beyond life. When parents give everything
they have to protect their children from Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency, and strive to teach them Courage, Conviction and Right
Actions for the future generations, then they have created true love.
Valentine's Day is about giving love. And we believe the
great gift a mother or father can give their children and all around
them, is the same love they give on Valentine's Day.
If every day is Vigilance Day, another way of saying Valentine's Day,
the Beast has no place to hide. He will starve."
I looked at
the Women of Vigilance. They stood strong and proud in the
Circle of Vigilance. Each held a flower.
Some sampled the candy.
coming," they said. "Just remind everyone that Valentine's
Day is every day--it's really Vigilance Day."
"I will," I
Feb. 13 --Friday
The 13th--A Bad Day For Terrorism