Article Overview:   What do warriors pray to before battle?  Do they pray to kill, or pray for the future of the children of the land?   Find out what warriors pray to and why.   And read the Prayer To The Warriors Of Vigilance, then offer your own.


Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

Wednesday, September 24 - Ground Zero Plus 742



Wednesday--March 19, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 553
 What Warriors Of Vigilance Pray To Before Battle
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 18-- I used to pray before battle.  I prayed for a swift victory, for those who were about to die, and for the courage to face death.  And I prayed to the Children's Children's Children, that they would be safer when the battle was over.

I prayed before battle

        Prior to an engagement with the enemy, our battalion commander, Colonel Leon Utter of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines in Chu-Lai, Vietnam, would gather us in a make-shift bamboo church built in the middle of the camp.  He held the service a few hours before we launched our attack on the enemy.   During his talk, he would clutch the American flag that stood near the altar and thrust it forward in the ball of his fist.  He reminded us that the red stripes in the flag represented the blood of all those before us who had died for freedom.  And that if we died, our blood would flow in the fabric.

Battle mass in Vietnam

         Colonel Utter didn't ask us to kill the enemy.   He asked us to believe in our cause.  He reminded us we were fighting for the children of Vietnam, for their freedom.
         He also talked about the bravery of the enemy, and how they would fight hard for their beliefs, and that those who fell on the enemy side would be honored for their courage and duty as we would be.   It was gladiatorial.   We were raising our swords in tribute to one another.  We saluted them, an ancient tradition of respect between warriors that goes back to Medieval Times when two opposing knight met in the battlefields.   They would charge up on their stallions, stop, and lift their visors so they could look each other in the eye before battle.  The salute progressed to its modern stature of raising one's hand to the forehead.

 Slain soldier's blood flows in the red stripes of America's flag of freedom

     In the end, American warriors were driven from Vietnam, not because of the warriors' inability to fight for freedom, but because of the politics of a war badly managed. 
        Vietnam never was a war based on a strategy of victory.   We were continuously held back from using our offensive powers by a mish-mash of political deceptions and confusions at the top of the leadership ladder.  
         Iraq is different.
         There is a single, clear goal for the warriors--remove Saddam Hussein from power.  Unseat the tyrant.  Dethrone the Butcher of Baghdad.  Free the people.
         The target is not the warriors, but the man for whom they fight.
         This war is similar to the ancient days of battle when the king or commander of the opposing troops fell, the enemy capitulated.   The warriors were not fighting for their country or its future, but for their leader.  As the leader crumbled in the ash of war, so did his warriors' spirit to die for him.
         Iraq is a precarious country. Its axis of power rests upon one man's shoulders, not upon the broad base of is people.  Tyrants sit upon the head of the pin, and when the pin is bent or knocked down, the reasons to spill one's blood for him evaporate.

Is the Beast of Baghdad praying before the battle?

        Hopefully, this will be the case when Saddam is either killed or surrenders.   When he falls, hopefully his troops will feel the mortality of his wounds and lay down their weapons.  The shallowness of tyrannical leadership will exhibit itself, as it did in the Gulf War when thousands of Iraqi soldiers surrendered.
        America and its allies, however, are fighting for a much broader cause, one not dependent on a single person or entity.   In the Big Picture, American and British warriors are fighting for the right of the children and their Children's Children's Children to live free of tyranny and Terrorism. 
         Critics of American idealism like to shoot holes in such thinking.  They claim America hides its selfish interests for oil and world power behind the flag of freedom.   It is easy for them to chide America as a bellicose imperialistic giant because it shrouds their own Complacency to act against tyranny.   They prefer Complacency to action.  It is easier to throw rocks than to risk one's life so that others have the right to throw them.
         These critics forget America has no guarantee that the new leadership replacing Saddam will embrace western concepts of democracy.  America is gambling that the Iraqi people in the 21st Century have the right to live free of despotic rule and to establish a government of, for and by the people.  Whether they elect to do so will be their destiny, but offering them the right to acquire self-government is the gift America, England and Australian troops offers all nations of the world.

Billboard of Never-Never Land of Communist utopia in Vietnam

         Few can argue that the alliance's role in the world has been to spread democracy.   In Vietnam, the nation is still ruled by communism.   There are no free elections, no dissent against the leadership that is public and legal.


Democracy is evolving in Russia

         But in Russia, there are new freedoms.  Tyranny fell apart in 1989 with the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Democracy is evolving and the rights of the people are growing daily.  
       In Japan democracy has taken firm root.  The nation, once impoverished by war and by leaders who sought to dominate the world, has unleashed the energies of the people to rule their lives.  Japan has blossomed into an economic giant.  It feeds the world with innovations.  And it proves the power of a people to rise out of the ashes of war and claim the rights of prosperity rather than wallow in the dredges of despotic poverty.

Japan has blossomed into an economic giant

      Then there is the difference between the cultures of North and South Korea.  One represents the fruits of freedom and the other the poverty of tyranny.  On one side of the 38th parallel the nation beams with growth, its people free to think and move and act as they so desire.  Their bellies are full, their dreams endless.   But north of the 38th, the vast majority of the citizens starve for freedom.  Many boil grass to eat.  Their tyrant leader, Kim Jong Il, applies 50 percent of the nation's revenues to defense to maintain his iron grip over the people.

Kim Il Jong, a tyrant like Saddam Hussein, develops weapons of mass destruction  to maintain his iron grip over the people of North Korea

      Like Saddam Hussein, he seeks the development of weapons of mass destruction intended solely to secure his position as leader and claims they are to protect the rights of his people.  That right, however, isn't to starve, but to be free to achieve their destiny as individuals.
      All these examples of freedom over tyranny are the core of an American warrior's prayers.   Many scoff at the idea that a warrior prays for the freedom of the people he or she fights, but despite his or her doubts, that is exactly the theme of such prayers.   If one is about to die, the reason for one's death must be greater than one's life.  To pray for one's own personal safety is a false and selfish prayer.  No strength comes from it.  
       Warriors bolster their fighting souls when they pray for what is right for the future of those they are willing to die for--the children of a land.   
       "God, give me strength to fight for what is right.   Let me fight for the rights of the children of the land, that they may be free to live in peace and prosperity, that they may have the same rights I have.   And if I die, let my death stand for their security, and my Vigilant commitment to it.  For only when the children are safe, will the world be at peace."
         It saddens me to think that critics of war in Iraq are so narrow minded to think 200,000 Americans are there to "kill for oil."  If they were, they would abandon their rifles and seek asylum in neutral countries.

American, British & Australian warriors are fighting for the rights of the Children's Children's Children

          But American, British and Australian warriors know they are fighting for the children's right to be free of tyranny.  They are there to rid the land of the Beast of Terror, the one that infects its people with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
         In the World Trade Center attack, for example, nearly half the people killed were from lands outside America.   Despotism breeds Terrorism, and today Terrorism is a highly exportable commodity to a world that sits back and does nothing to crush it.  The American and British warriors know their lives will be risked to end Terrorism from spreading.

Praying for....

         Defeating Saddam Hussein will send a broadband signal to the other Terrorists of the world that they will be met with similar force if they attempt to threaten or maim the innocent, as they did on Nine Eleven, and will again unless checkmated.

....the Warriors of Vigilance

     So I offer this prayer for the Warriors of Vigilance, in hopes they will know they are waging a war not against a country or a people, but against the Beast of Terror.



Prayer To The Warriors Of Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie

Oh, Warriors of Vigilance, stand proud in the dim light of battle.
Fight for the rights of the Children's Children's Children.
Fight for victory of Vigilance over Terrorism.
Fight for the belief that if you die, your blood will flow forever in our memory.
You, the Warriors of Vigilance, fight the Beast of Terror with ferocity.
You stand for Courage while he or she roars for Fear.
You charge with Conviction against his or her shadow of Intimidation.
You draw the Sword of Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's Children while--the Beast of Terror--attempts to trap you in the quagmire of Complacency.
Draw the Sword of Vigilance and hold up the Shield of Vigilance against the Terror.
Remove from the children's path tyranny's shadow.
Let the Sunlight of Freedom and the right to rule oneself blind the Beast.
Drive your Sword into the heart of Fear so Courage rules where Intimidation once choked Hope.
Fear not the critics of Vigilance.  They speak with fouled lips.
They do not understand your willingness to die for Freedom, for they abuse their own.
They protest against your choice to die for others you do not know.
They falsely claim you offer your life for oil.
They do not know you give your blood for the children's right to not shed theirs.
For they are not willing to offer their lives, only their criticism of yours.
Instead, hear the Songs the Sentinels of Vigilance sing to you.
Listen to the Spartans of Thermopylae who held Vigilant against hoards.
Listen to the Voices of all who have died for Liberty, for they cheer you forward.
Seek only to rid the land of the Beast of Terror.
For when he lies on the battlefield with his belly bloated, Vigilance will have won.
And Complacency will have lost.

by Cliff McKenzie,
Editor, Vigilance Voice,
 & USMC Combat Correspondent
Vietnam 1965-1966


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