We are five days away from GZ+1000! What have we
learned? What can we do to not let that day pass unnoticed?
Saturday, June 3,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 995
Five Days To GZ+1000
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June 3, 2004 -- Five days from
now, exactly 7200 minutes from the time I publish this story, Ground
Zero Plus 1000 will occur.
It will pass through the arches of time
with little notice to many, for they will have other things on their
For the past 995 days, a total of 1,432,800
minutes, I have relived the horror and the glory of the Terrorist
attack on September 11, 2001.
The horror was the crippling loss of
innocent lives, and the pain and suffering inflicted upon the loved
ones of those who perished. The glory is the legacy of
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's
Children that the deaths of 2,749 recorded "victims" left for us all
I haven't forgotten that 25,000
people escaped the burning World Trade Center Towers, or that both
fire, police and average citizens were responsible for the saving of
countless lives, some who offered theirs so that others could live.
each falling downward...
Nor have I erased the glory of
watching people holding hands as they plummeted to the earth from
nearly a quarter mile high, a symbol of the unity of human beings even
in the face of death.
like a soaring paraclete
Or, how when I was
standing a few blocks from the burning buildings looking up, how each who leapt from
the holocaust of fire and smoke fell downward in such a manner as to
appear like a dove, a paraclete, diving with wings snugged back to
accelerate itself, legs together as though soaring toward the eternity
of death with a swansong, aerobatic beauty as the living watching
I also know I am not alone in the
memories of that day, and do claim propriety over any emotional pain
that recalling those moments bring to me. I find it
difficult to join groups of survivors who want to express their pain
and suffering, to share their grief and fractured souls with other
fractured souls, and elect instead, to write about that day in
memoriam, to legendize it as best I can with solutions to fighting the
Beast of Terror rather than with antibiotics to stave off its current
I know the Beast will return, that
the Beast never left.
I know the Beast is Within, hiding in
all our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies, doing push-ups, sizing
us up for that day he will leap out of the bushes and snare us in his
claws and fangs, or our children, or our loved ones.
So know the Terrorists. They feed
off our frailty, our human defects that make us cower in the shadow of
threats, rendering us impotent to feel we can fight back, and eager to
turn over the responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, our
neighborhoods, communities, states and nations to government, who, in
the final analysis, in the most simplistic of terms, only represent
us, the citizens, the mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts,
That's why we must not succumb to the
Complacency of abdicating our duty to ourselves, our families, our
children, our loved ones, and those who comprise our world.
is a natural duty....
Vigilance is a natural duty,
not something that can be assumed is the duty of any governmental
body, whether it be the local fire and police, even the Homeland Security
To fight Terrorism, we must fight
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in our minds, in our acts, in our
homes, and most importantly, in the framework of our children's
We can only achieve this by
recognizing the Duty of Vigilance is a personal responsibility, and a
parental one. This Duty of Vigilance includes taking the
Pledge of Vigilance, whether it is the one below, or one you draft for
yourself that incorporates the Principles of Vigilance.
These Principles are that we can
neutralize the Beast Within by developing the skills to trump Fear
with One Percent more Courage, to increase our Conviction by One
Percent more than our Intimidation in any situation, and to not fall
into the quagmire of Complacency but rather force ourselves to take
the Right Actions that don't just benefit ourselves, but benefit the
Children's Children's Children.
The thousands who died on Nine
Eleven, are not buried.