Blood is the nectar of life. It is a river,, flowing
through the body to give blossom to life's energy, carrying oxygen and
antibodies to fuel action and fight enemies. This
past Sunday a vial of blood was buried from the last firefighter to be
buried nearly two years after the Terrorist attack of Nine Eleven.
But did it close a chapter of Terrorism or signal the start of a new
one? Find out.
8, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 726
Burying The Last Vial Of Terrorism
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Sep 8, 2003-- Coffins
are lonely, empty shells that house the memory of life.
Inside, they are dark, and when placed deep in the ground and covered
with soil, become dank dungeons of eternal solitude, resting places
for the body and bones of those departed souls who have passed from
one form to another.
The cask of
Firefighter Michael Ragusa being taken out of the Church of Saint
Bernard in Brooklyn, NY
On Sunday, the
coffin of Michael Ragusa was placed into the womb of Mother Earth,
from dust to dust, ashes to ashes.
Inside was a vial of the
firefighter's blood he had donated to a bone marrow center. He
was the last of 343 firefighters killed in the September 11, 2001
Terrorist attack to be put to rest.
Only half of the 2,792 people
officially listed as dying in the holocaust of Nine Eleven's assault
on the World Trade Center have been identified by the medical
examiner. The remains of over 1,300 remain pulverized by
the crushing weight of stone and steel that imploded on the second
Tuesday of September nearly two years ago, forever mulched into the
soil, seeds of the Spirits of Vigilance who rose that day above the
World Trade Center and remain there in Vigilant patrol, reminding us
all the Beast of Terror never sleeps, only lurks and waits in the
shadows of our Fears, our Intimidations and our Complacency.
blood stands as a Symbol of Vigilance for future generations
of blood from fireman Ragusa's body is symbolic of the long reach of
The human body contains more
than 60,000 miles of blood vessels. Stretched into one line,
they would encircle the earth nearly 2.5 times.
In a year, the heart
beats some 30 million times, pumping in an adult between five and
seven quarts around and around, cleansing, refreshing, constantly
carrying Soldiers of Vigilance, white blood cells, to attack the
Terrorism of germs and other invaders that try to cripple the body, to
render it unable to move about in a healthy fashion.
Ragusa's vial of blood represents
more than just a part of his body, a small fragment of his life.
It stands as a Symbol of Vigilance, the Fertilization of Vigilance for
Michael Ragusa, Engine 279
offered his bone marrow for the health of another
Ragusa's vial of blood had been given in an attempt to offer his
health to another. Had his blood matched that of a cancer
victim, he would have given part of his bone marrow to help the cancer
victim fight the gnawing Terrorism of cancer. Blood cells
are manufactured in the marrow of the bone, and some types of cancer
attack and kill the ability to manufacture healthy blood cells.
A transplant of a matching blood type is a surge of health, often
kick-starting the ability of the patient's body to battle cancer and
return to an acceptable state of life versus death.
When I was at the World Trade Center
on the day of the attack, I witnessed the horror of the buildings
collapsing around us. Chunks of metal and concrete shot
past as millions of pounds of the great buildings fell straight
downward, crushing everything in its wake.
Then, the bright September day turned
black. A shroud of blackened soot--the pulverization of stone,
steel and human life--choked us. I may have inhaled part
of Michael Ragusa that day. I may have gasped in some small
fragment of him, or some part of the nearly 3,000 others who were
pulverized that morning.
Those of us who survived the collapse of
the buildings, and millions of New Yorkers who were present in the
city, all may have the Seeds of Vigilance planted in their bodies.
For weeks the air was filled with smoke and
soot, tiny particles of the horror of the day floating about in atomic
miniscule, entering the noses and mouths of all who inhaled the air,
being absorbed into the blood stream through the millions of pores
that allow the human body to breathe not only through the lungs, but
through the blood
about 2,000 pores per square inch on the human body.
There are about 2,000 pores per square inch on the human body, and
about 6.5 square feet of human skin stretching over the average
person. That represents 156,000 pores through which
microscopic fragments of heroic people like Michael Ragusa and the
thousands who gave their lives that day may have settled upon all of
us, entering our beings in a variety of ways that we will never know.
Then, of course, there were the viral
elements--the Terrorists themselves. Part of them may have
slipped into the equation. None of us can afford to
forget that Terrorism is a cancer, a virus, a bacteria that, left
untreated, unattended, can chew away at the marrow of our Vigilance
and destroy our antibodies.
The Pledge of Vigilance below
is a reminder that we must never let up on our need to fight off the
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that allows Terrorism to weave its
web over our eyes, or stagnate our sense of smell so we can't smell
the fetid odor of its presence upwind, or dull our duty to defend
ourselves by assuming that some other force, some other person, some
other organization or body will defend us against the wrath that
awaits all who drop their guard or turn their heads from the horizon
of the Children's Children's Children's future safety and security.
Ragusa's vial of blood is the antidote of Terrorism
Michael Ragusa's vial of blood is the antidote to Terrorism.
It's power is eternal, for it is a
reminder to us all that we must fight Terrorism from within not
It is easy to look at September 11th
as a day of infamy when the U.S. was attacked by a foreign enemy, that
it was the first such attack on U.S. soil since the War of 1812.
This is dangerous for us all.
When we look at Terrorism from a
physical point of view, we narrow its potential to impact us.
We see it as tanks rolling onto our shores, or subways being poisoned,
or bridges being blown up, or mail being contaminated.
Suddenly, we think a Terrorist is
some force outside us, a hooded suicide bomber rushing onto a bus, or
a group of radicals taking hostages and demanding the release of
We forget that Terrorism resides in
our marrow. It lurks deep within us--our dark side, if you
will. We forget that it takes the form of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. We neglect that its purpose
is to shove us down, limit us, corral us into fences where we become
sheep, jumping at the crack of a twig, feeling powerless over our
lives, victims of our failures and defeats.
Mothers and fathers who struggle
through life and find themselves shouting at their children, or
applying the same cold, emotionless relationships as they received
from their parents don't realize that they are fostering Emotional
Terrorism, making their children mere reflections of their own
emptiness, fostering their own futility and sense of alienation.
Looking in the
mirror and seeing a 'loser', perpetuates the Seeds of Terrorism
or woman who stands before a mirror and sees a "loser" or a "failure"
or a "nobody," or wallows in the "victimization" of his or her life,
considering himself or herself a doormat over which all others step,
perpetuates the Seeds of Terrorism. These beings
begin to feel the Fear of Self, the Intimidation of Self, and want to
crawl under the covers of Complacency, hiding from the shadows of life
that remind them they are the walking dead, hopelessly caught in a
trap, like the wolf, trying to chew its foot off so it might be free,
but finding that it has no teeth.
When we think about the impact of
Terrorism on our lives, and realize that it is the cancer of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency manifested in a variety of forms that are
passed on like bad genes to our children and our Children's Children's
Children, we stiffen.
We realize we are the
Terrorists, and that Terrorism such as that we witnessed on September
11, 2001, is nothing more than a wake up call for all of us to stand
up and be counted.
On Nine Eleven, we all had a chance
to inhale the White Cells of Vigilance. We may have inhaled some
part of the Terrorists, but we already had that virus within us--and,
for most of us, it dominated our lives.
children sharing their nightmares with you so they will know their
parents are the Sentinels of Vigilance
Proof of that
is evidenced by the feeling of being in a "rut," or, when our children
don't tell us their dreams or share their nightmares, or, when we
realize we don't tuck in our kids each night and sit with them and
tell stories so that if they waken in the darkness they will know
their parents are the Sentinels of Vigilance, and that the boogeyman
doesn't rule the dark.
We know we are not truly Soldiers of
Vigilance when we let feelings of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
overwhelm us without solutions, when we surrender to "this is the way
things are," and we stop trying to evolve and rise above the quagmire
of life "as it is."
If we don't say, "Stop Thought!" and
convert a feeling of Fear with Courage, or try to overturn a sense of
Intimidation with Conviction, or realize that we must take action to
benefit the Children's Children's Children rather than drown in a sea
of Complacency, inaction, then we are not evolving.
We are not using the vial of blood from Michael
Ragusa, or the fragments of microscopic Vigilance inhaled from the
aftermath of the Sentinels of Vigilance who died in the Terrorist
If we haven't printed the Pledge of
Vigilance below, signed it, posted it on our refrigerator or in some
common place within our home or business, we run the risk of
forgetting we are Sentinels of Vigilance, that our duty as human
beings is to fight the Triad of Terrorism--Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency with the Principles of Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and
Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children.
If we are not using the One Percent Factor,
realizing that we need only build One Percent more Courage than Fear,
hoist One Percent more Conviction over the head of Intimidation, and
make One Percent more effort to act in behalf of future generations
than to succumb to the muck and mire of Complacency, then we are not
acting as Sentinels of Vigilance. We are not evolving beyond the
level of Terrorism that visited us on September 11, 2001 if we ignore
the vial of blood left by Michael Ragusa.
His blood is our blood.
It is blood more powerful than any
It is the blood offered to fight the cancer
of Terror, a cancer that remains dormant in all of us, and, if not
treated with the chemotherapy of Vigilance, will cripple out ability
to stave off the countless attacks that life presents the unprepared,
The burial of
Michael Ragusa is the beginning of a chapter of Vigilance
The burial of Michael Ragusa is not the end of a chapter of Terrorism.
It is the beginning of a chapter of Vigilance. It is one
more powerful reminder that the power of the human will to rise above
its handicaps and hurtle over its defects comes down to the Courage to
battle one's Fears, the Conviction to face one's Intimidations, and
the ability of all of us to take the Right Actions necessary to make
our world safer for the Children's Children's Children rather than
fall victim to the Complacency we can do nothing, that we are
nobodies, that we are impotent against the power of the Beast.
When you download the Pledge of Vigilance
and post it on your wall or frig, you will be putting the vial of
Michael Ragusa's blood on display. Within it is the magic of
Vigilance, and it will remind you as it reminds me, that I am a
Sentinel of Vigilance rather than a Victim of Terrorism.
Put your Pledge to work today.
Fight the battle from within, for yourself, your family and the
future. And, for Michael Ragusa.