EXACTLY 1200 DAYS FROM GROUND ZERO
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
ZERO PLUS 1200 DAYS,--New York, NY, Saturday,
December 25, 2004--Today
is Christmas. It is a special day for millions who celebrate
it as the birth of Christ. It also happens to be exactly 1200
days from Ground Zero, the anniversary of the September 11,
2001 terrorist attack on the United States that left nearly
3,000 dead in a matter of minutes.
to keep alive those who perished on NineEleven
I was at the epicenter of
the World Trade Center attack. On that day I vowed to keep alive
the memory of the Sentinels of Vigilance--the thousands who
died that day at the hands of terrorism's helmsmen. Some 2,595
died in the World Trade Center, 125 perished in the Pentagon,
plus Flt. 11 with 92 aboard, Flt. 175 with 65, Flt. 77 with
64 and the 45 passengers aboard Flt. 93 who fought the hijackers
and forced the crash of Flt. 93 in Shanksville, Penn, that was
zeroed in on the White House.
I continue to believe the
Sentinels of Vigilance are the spirits of all those men and
women--fathers, mothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts and loved
ones--whose lives were sacrificed on September 11, 2001 so that
we, the living, might remember that Terrorism exists at our
doorstep. The mission of each Sentinel of Nine Eleven is to
keep us constantly alert to defending our homes from Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency--the Triads of Terrorism. If we are Vigilant
about how we live and act, then Terrorism will have little chance
We best achieve a strong
stance against Terrorism by taking the Pledge of Vigilance--a
daily reminder to us that the greatest defense against Terrorism
of all sizes and shapes is a strong offense.
Practicing the Principles
of Vigilance--using Courage to override Fear, employing Conviction
to knock the legs out from under Intimidation, and undermining
Complacency by always taking Right Actions that benefit the
Children's Children's Children--we ward off not only the threat
of Physical Terrorism, but also its insidious handmaiden, Emotional
If there was a message of
great import left in the rubble of Nine Eleven, it was the Sentinel's
of Vigilance concern that each and every parent, grandparent,
uncle, aunt, relative and loved one help protect the children
from Terrorism's claws and fangs.
left by the Sentinels of Vigilance was to protect the
children from the fangs of The Beast of Terror
These claws and fangs include
creating or perpetuating a child's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
either through acts of omission or commission by parents and
guardians. The Sentinels of Vigilance cringe when a parent says
to a child: "Don't bother me, I'm busy..." Or, "I
wish you were more like...." Or, "It's too bad you're
not as smart as..."
There are countless other
acts of "subtraction" that leave a child wondering
if he or she is safe in a world that revolves around the ability
of the parents to make the home safe not only physically but
In the more than two-million
words included in this website, any interested reader will find
countless examples of how to identify "Terror Thoughts"
that turn into "Terror Actions" and result in attacks
on a child just as devastating to him or her as any Terrorist
with a suicide bomb strapped around his or her chest, or holding
a knife to the self-image throat of a child.
On this Christmas Day, we
must not forget also that the deaths of the nearly 3,000 who
died on September 11, 2001, were part of a global community.
They weren't just Americans
or Christians who died at the hands of Terrorism. The World
Trade Center was filled with people from all lands, all beliefs,
is one of diversity
Our world is not one homogenous mixture. It is
filled with diversity. Christianity, for example, represents
third of the world's religious believers and there are some
recognized 37,000 different variations of it. Of the 6 billion
plus people on this planet, about 2 billion call themselves
Christians. The second largest religion of the 19 major ones
is Islam with 1.2 billion. It is followed in size by those who
claim no religion and represent 925 million. Hinduism boasts
786 million, Buddhism 362 million and Atheists claim a population
of 211 million. Judaism has 18 million members.
All major beliefs were represented on September
11, 2001. This is symbolic that Terrorism knows no borders.
It is a self-serving, self-seeking virus that grows out of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency and attempts to lord those Triads
of Terrorism over the heads of all who fall within its shadow.
The same is true of a household where the parents
and guardians neglect to protect a child from the whips of Terrorism.
When the primary mission of a parent or guardian IS NOT the
safety and security of a child's Emotional Vigilance, then the
child is left to fend for himself or herself in the world of
It is here the Beast of Terror feeds upon the
child's nubile soul without threat or danger of being exposed.
Like a termite eating freely at the foundation of a structure,
the Beast of Terror does its best to cannibalize the child's
self respect, self will, self appreciation and turn the child
into a slave of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
On December 25, 2004, now 1200 days from Ground
Zero, September 11, 2001, we need to reflect upon the true meaning
of Christmas. That includes separating the idea that Christmas
is a religious holiday. It is one of many different religious
holidays that all people can respect and pay tribute to those
who celebrate it.
At the World Trade Center the diverse beliefs
of the victims was part of the culture. It brought people from
different walks of life together and reminded them that all
people can live together as one and yet retain their differences.
What glues all peoples as one is not their differences but their
The most similar part of all humanity is a child.
Children are innocent.
They are pure.
in the manger is symbolic of the birth of innocence
They have formed no prejudices, no bigotries,
no opinions in favor of or against any belief system. They are
the clay of the future, molded by the hands of their parents
This innocence is what Christmas is about.
The baby in the manger is symbolic not of the
birth of a new religion, but of the birth of innocence.
All children are born the same way.
And to these children we need to bring great gifts.
The greatest gift we can bring to them is the one of Vigilance,
and our vow to be their Sentinel of Vigilance.
If we do this, all people of all nations can celebrate
Christmas....for the Sentinels of Vigilance are. They are celebrating
the belief that it is our job on earth to protect the children
from the Beast of Terror.
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