Article Overview:    Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices our nation makes to bring liberty and freedom to others.  But what about the unsung heroes of the day?  What about those who are casualties of Emotional and Physical Terrorism?   When do we honor their bravery?   When do we salute their ability to survive?   And what can we do to end the true War On Terrorism--the one that is fought inside many of us as we try to fend off the Beast of Terror?   There is a solution!


Saturday, June 1, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 993
Memorial Terrorism Day

Cliff McKenzie

 GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June 1, 2004 -- Over the weekend, I thought about the lack of fanfare over Memorial Terrorism Day.
       A conventional Memorial Day is a time to honor those who sacrificed their lives in war, in battles fought to seek freedom for others despite the distance from America, or the differences that might exist between cultures.
       I fought in such a war, in Vietnam.   I fought for the liberation of a people and lost that battle, as did the 57,000 Americans who died in that fighting, and the estimated 2-3 million Vietnamese.

There was a lack of fanfare for the Memorial War on Terrorism

       Records kept by the government record that since the Revolutionary War, 2.4 million Americans have died or been wounded in battles throughout the world.  With the exception of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the blood spilled was on foreign soil, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
      Over the 228 years of America's existence, an average of 10,526 citizens per year have been killed or wounded in battles for freedom.  These deaths and wounds have been inflicted in short periods of time.   The Civil War accounts for 646,000 of them, World War II tops the list with 1,079,000 and Vietnam with 211,000.
       But there is another kind of Memorial Day that was overlooked this past weekend.   It was Memorial Terrorism Day.
       These casualties of the War On Terrorism haven't been recorded.  The victims have no plaques or monuments to honor their scars.  They don't wear medals of service or march in parades.   They don't belong to the Veterans of Terrorism Clubs down at the local corner of the thousands of local communities that comprise America's neighborhood structure.
      Few, if any, of their family members know they are Veterans of Terrorism, for they keep their wounds hidden, or try to, and bury the memories of their combat in the deepest possible graves in deep caves carved into the far corners of their souls.
      Veterans of Terrorism include a vast range.  At the most extreme pole are rape, child abuse and molestation victims, the vast majority of whom keep their Terrorism private, hiding it from view to the world, but living with it forever in the dark moments when their minds or thoughts are spun out of control, reliving the violations of their humanity by those who use their power to cripple the innocence of others.
       At the opposite end are those people who feel they are "less than," or "not as worthy as" others, their self-images battered as though someone had taken a baseball bat and smashed their kneecaps, hobbling them throughout life to believe that what they see in a mirror represents a "nothing," a "nobody" who has been overlooked by life's gifts, and resigns themselves to being a nail while the world around them seems to be a hammer.
        In the middle are all varying degrees of Veterans of Terrorism, from the hard-working guy or gal who gets laid off because the boss likes the curves of the woman he just hired, to the raping and ravaging of 401k's by Corporate Terrorists who raid the wealth of individuals, stripping them bare of their life's savings.
       Victims of Terrorism are shuffled off in our society, as they are in most all society's.   Few seek ways to resolve the open wounds they suffer, and instead, employ denial and vainglorious attempts to manage their Terrorism by themselves.
       "Stand up on your own two feet!  Let Go!   Move on!   Fill your life with the good and forget the past!   Use the experience as a tool!"
       Thousands of bumper sticker statements ping-pong about the Terror Victim's life, forcing the individual to feel impotent to handle the wounds, and so rather than undergo a life-long effort of therapy to remove the scars, the wounds pop up in their behavior, twisting their thinking, forcing them to assume positions that are defensive.
        Many learn not to trust anyone.  Others seek religious comfort, absorbing and becoming evangelists in hopes the unctuous ointment of salvation might sate the horror of their feelings, might erase the feelings of being "less than," of living life as a "victim" instead of a participant in the evolution of discovering life's many mysteries.
       These Veterans of Terrorism, sadly, pass their infection onto their children or to those loved ones around them, or their employees, and, in the case of tyrants and oppressors, to their nations by turning their citizens into pawns to be used at the whim of the leader.   Unknowingly, in the majority of cases, they become Seeds of Terrorism, for their untreated wounds spill over upon others, tainting their ultimate humanness by darkening their souls, eclipsing their ability to tackle life with joy and happiness.

The Beast pf Terror thrives on individual Fear, Intimidation and Complacency

         The Beast of Terror who thrives on individual Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, roars with delight over their plight.   He sits on his perch looking down as a vulture would a wounded prey, waiting for the right moment to sink his fangs or claws into their dark secrets, hissing in their ears:  "Loser!  Failure!  No Good!  Not Good Enough!  Not Smart Enough!   Not Worthy Enough!  Not Equal Enough!"
       The Veterans of Terrorism have little recourse but to listen to the Beast if they are unaware that it is the Beast talking to them.  The Beast disguises his Voice and makes it sound like self-talk, modulates his vocal cords so that the person thinks the Beast is his own mind reinforcing the pain and anguish of the past when, as a child, the individual was not taught how to be a Sentinel of Vigilance, was not skilled in turning Fear into Courage, or replacing Intimidation with Conviction, or unaware that Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children would overpower Complacency and remove from the child that feeling of impotency, that sense of disenfranchisement and marginalization that serves as protein for the Beast.
         On Memorial Day I was not thinking of my friends and comrades who died in battle, or were wounded physically or emotionally by war's ugly nature.    I thought of the child who is told by his or her parents:  "I wish you weren't born," and the terrible wound such a caustic, Terroristic statement would do to an innocent young mind seeking only to be loved, appreciated, nurtured into becoming a vibrant being who could achieve incredible feats if the mind were not burdened by scars that limited its evolution.

I thought of the wounds caustic remarks make on the souls of children

         I thought of my own scars, and how I have struggled to overcome them, and how I think I have failed to do so in so many ways.    I thought specifically of a teacher I had in high school who told me I should enroll in auto mechanics because I wasn't worthy of going to college, that I didn't have the "right stuff," and that by being a mechanic I would at least be able to feed myself.  His name was Mr. Pitcher, and he earnestly believed in what he said, and I earnestly believed he was full of shit.   But, the pain of his labeling me unworthy intellectually has stuck to me throughout my life.   Despite all my successes with my brain, I often return to that moment in the hallway when he put his arm over my shoulder and tried to steer me down, to suppress and destroy any dreams I might have that I wasn't stupid, or that I wasn't worthy of college.
        There may be those who argue that such events are good, because they force one to react in opposite ways, but that is nothing more than Complacency to Vigilance.   No adult has the right to demean a child's mind, or his or her dreams.  Yet this is done daily, in many forms, and many ways, by well-intentioned but mis-guided people.

How many victims have evil persons destroyed?

        Then there are the cruel people who delight in destroying others with their power and might.    Everyone has met or known or worked with or been involved with in some shape or form an "evil" person with no conscience, who, when all is said and done, is the Beast incarnate.
        How many victims have they wounded, maimed, killed?
        Human souls are living things.   Parts of many souls die.    Those who once dreamed great dreams and gave them up have buried their dreams for themselves and others.   They are like the soldiers buried in the graves of war, faint memories of what once could have been but now lies in decay, a reminder that to try and achieve means sudden death, or slow death, so why try?   
        In my experience in combat, the less trained and skilled the warrior, the higher the odds of death and wounding.   It was as if nature knew who the weak were, and they seemed to be the first to step on a booby trap or take a bullet.
        Memorial Terrorism Day is a day we need to address.   What can we do--we who are victims of all forms of Terrorism, it's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--to heal the scars of the Beast of Terror?  To remove the stains on our souls?   To shine light in the dark caves of our secret selves?
        Most of us don't want to face our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies because the cost to our emotional balance is too dangerous.   Over time, we have learned to balance our pain by burying it, and to dig it up seems to be nothing more than a rehashing of holocausts of the self we prefer to keep locked up.
        But if we choose to no longer live as Victims of Terrorism, we must have a reason greater than the discomfort it may take to heal our wounds.   That reason is the Children's Children's Children.
       Veterans of Wars almost universally are against war, because they have seen the damage it creates.    Victims of Terrorism are also against it.  But, how do they effectively create "peace" from "war?"
       The answer is to become a Sentinel of Vigilance.    The only secure way to battle the Beast of Terror is to fight it on its own grounds--from within not without.   When we take the Pledge of Vigilance and vow to not let our Beast of Terror ravage us with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, but rather to replace those attacks with at least One Percent more Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the benefit of the Children's Children's Children, we are now standing up to the Beast.
       Our motivation for doing this is not selfish.   If we are to muster the courage to face the Beast, we do it not to heal our wounds, but to protect the well-being of our loved ones.   
        We fight for the freedom of others, even though we may be scarred ourselves for life.
        The Veterans of Wars fought for the freedom of others in foreign lands.    They paid with their lives and souls.   

We Veterans of Terrorism fight for the freedom of others in foreign lands and at home

         We, the Veterans of Terrorism, fight for the freedom of others not only in foreign lands, but at home, here in our living rooms.  
        When we become a Sentinel of Vigilance, we learn to communicate to a child the beauty of life.  This beauty includes being able to stop the ugliness that tries to mask the beauty.   If we can pass onto the child the Sword and Shield of Vigilance, the Tools of Vigilance, the Principles of Vigilance, we are now healing ourselves.    The value of our life has expanded.   Whatever wounds we carry will now have benefit to the innocent.  
         If you are a Veteran of Terrorism, salute yourself.
         Then, take the Pledge of Vigilance and become Sentinel of Vigilance for yourself and others.

May 29--Where Are You On The 900th Day Of The War On Terrorism

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