Article Overview:   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.


Monday--September 8, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 726
Burying The Last Vial Of Terrorism Blood
Cliff McKenzie
   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.

Ragusa's  blood stands as a Symbol of Vigilance for future generations

        The vial of blood from fireman Ragusa's body is symbolic of the long reach of Vigilance.
         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 future generations.

Firefighter Michael Ragusa, Engine 279
offered his bone marrow for the health of another

       Ironically, 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

There are 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.

Michael 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 without.
        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 prisoners.
        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

        The man 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.

Promote your 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 attack.
       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 Terrorist.
       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 non-Vigilant.

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.

Sep 2--TerrorHunting The St. Lawrence Seaway

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