Monday, May 23, 2016

Memorial Day: Honor the Fallen, Widows, Orphans

As America honors Memorial Day, we must have burning within our souls the most profound appreciation for all who have offered the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom, liberty, and way of life.

The nation must prayerfully pause during this sacred Memorial solemnity and remember the sacrifices of the fallen, as well as of their widows and orphans.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: Iconic Memorial Dignity

For America to truly understand the dignity of Memorial Day, it is imperative to reflect on Abraham Lincoln’s profound respect for those who died for the nation.

In the words of the Gettysburg address, a speech delivered by Lincoln at the November 19, 1863 dedication of Soldiers Cemetery, his eloquence can ignite a fire of devotion in the soul.

In his words for Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, Lincoln succinctly honored the Union sacrifices with less than 300 words, now immortalized throughout the world as one of history’s most eloquent orations.

Lincoln not only honored the dead but reminded listeners then, and throughout the ages, that the soldiers sacrifice was sacrosanct and served America’s most noble values of liberty, equality, unity, freedom, democracy, and spirituality as exemplified in this excerpt:

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Lincolns Second Inaugural Address: Binding the Wounds

Complementing Lincoln’s devotion to those who consecrated the ground at Gettysburg with their sacrifices, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural on March 4, 1865, gave a comprehensive perspective on the ultimate sacrifice.

Once again, the master of brevity, with only 703 words in his speech, placed the Civil War in the eyes of compassion, character, and the monstrous injustice of slavery.

Lincoln did not demonize the South by giving the North a victory speech, nor did he excoriate the South of the inhumanity of slavery.

Instead, he called to task the entire nation as guilty, and pleaded for reconciliation, unity, empathy, and sensitivity which included this burning decree:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Honoring a Hero, Widow, and Child

In October, 2013, I came across a published work with a photo of an angelic little three-year-old boy named Michael Wyatt that put a sword through my heart. I immediately clipped the photo from the magazine and placed it in a prominent place in my home, to remind me of the gravity of his father’s sacrifice, and so that I can always remember to pray for this little boy and his mother.

Michael was born in 2010, but his story is all but ordinary, as he is the son of Derek Wyatt, a twenty-five-year-old Marine killed in Afghanistan the day before Michael’s birth.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Corporal Derek A. Wyatt, 25, of Akron, Ohio, died December 6, 2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

His wife Kait, a Marine veteran, gave birth to the couples baby Michael, at Camp Pendleton in California, the evening after her husband was killed by a sniper while he was leading other Marines.

Final Reflections

America must eternally honor Memorial Day with profound gratitude to all who offered the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our way of life.

Our nation must also reflect on Lincoln’s devotion to all who have consecrated America by their sacrifice, and to forever honor, assist, and support their widows, and children.

More:

Memorial Day: Honoring America’s Sacred Sacrifices


America’s Veterans Deserve Honor, Homes, Health Care

American Holidays: Time to Honor Military Sacrifices

Life Lessons From the United States Military

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

America’s Flag, Patriotism: Resuscitating Our Destiny

Photos

1.Kyatt Wyatt carries her 1-month-old son, Michael at the burial of her husband, Marine Cpl. Derek Wyatt, at Arlington National Cemetery, January 7, 2011. Wyatt was killed December 6, 2010 in Afghanistan. (Courtesy Arlington National Cemetery)

2. Michael Wyatt, son of Kate and Derek Wyatt. (Credit Esquire Magazine, October, 2013 edition)

Kait Wyattt, widow of U.S. Marine Derek Wyatt, clutches the American flag which was draped over her husbands casket during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery. (Courtesy Arlington National Cemetery)

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 180 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 16, 2016

America’s Critical Ethical Issues Demand Resolution

Over the last 20 years, I have addressed issues critical to America in my training initiatives throughout the nation, as well as in extensive published works.

The published works include over 100 columns for my Epoch Times over the last two years.

These articles crystallize ethical issues in our society that demand resolution.

For the purpose of clarity and persevering with a clarion call to reawaken the ethical heartbeat of America, here is a sampling of quotes from these articles.

America’s Mission: Eradicating Discrimination, Prejudice, Racism

“Respect for human rights is the basis of moral legitimacy and the criteria of government’s rightful authority.

“This respect is also a reflection of character, not only of individuals, but of a nation. Respect always stands diametrically opposed to discrimination, prejudice, and racism. These vices are dehumanizing as they dishonor the moral heartbeat of humanity demanding respect for our neighbor.

“Every person deserves dignity and respect, as we are all members of the same human family.

“This respect must extend to all, including those who are different by sex, race, color, social conditions, language, ethnicity, age, country of origin, or religion.”

America’s President Must Have Character, Ethics, Leadership

America demands a president with unwavering character, ethical principles, and influential leadership.

These are presidential qualities critical for a 21st century American leader who must ignite patriotism, community, and character in America.

America’s president must inspire an ethical society that stands as a counterculture to violence, apathy, and corruption we have seen unleashed in our society. Our president must be the preeminent model of ethical leadership and inspire a reawakening of the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

America’s Veterans Deserve Honor, Homes, Health Care

“Military service is the pre-eminent hallmark of honor, duty, and country and deserves America’s dignity, appreciation, and esteem.

“Hopefully, the solemn national holidays of Veterans and Memorial Day will be complemented by America’s renewed passion for honoring our veterans, especially those marginalized by poverty, homelessness, and health care deficiencies.

“But a travesty has infected our great land, for as we now walk American cities, the dignity of our flag is contradicted by the tragedy of dishonored homeless veterans, many with mental health needs. These patriots are further victimized by society’s indignation, contempt, and abandonment.

"America must respond to an inner moral call and rise by igniting an ethical renaissance. The principles of character, compassion, and altruism must be the heartbeat of America.”

America’s 21st Century Student: Character, Courage, Community

“Each American student deserves example, encouragement, and empowerment to cultivate virtues critical to society: character, courage, and community.

“Every educational community must be fully dedicated to character education. This philosophy is vital to reawakening the nation by giving hope, vision, and inspiration to our youth who must reignite America’s torch of character, courage, and community.”

Principles of American Policing

“Contemporary issues demand principles complementing tradition while respecting current realities.

“Therefore, I have developed Nine Principles of American Policing to enhance dialogue, communication, and trust between police and communities:

“1. Being pro-police and pro-community are inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent. Police must at all times remain fully committed to protecting and serving the public through character, ethics, and leadership that is total and wholehearted. Police must be guided by a moral compass that honors the community, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

“2. Respect must be the heart of the police and it must be unwavering for the profession, colleagues, and community. Respect can only be earned through integrity, accountability, and transparency. These qualities build trust, legitimacy, and collaboration.

“3. Police deserve that every level of government provide the resources necessary for proper police staffing, training, and community service.”

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

“In my opinion, there are essentially two basic forms of education in American schools. There is the repressive system that makes rules known, watches for transgressions, and is quick to discipline a student by inflicting condescending correction and punishment. The errant zero-tolerance policy in so many schools is an example of a repressive system—rigid, bureaucratic, and impersonal.

"The proper approach is the preventive system of education. In this system, educators are vigilant in a caring manner and offer patient guidance from the heart consistent with kindness, character, and reasonableness. The preventive system of education builds trust and connections with students and the community. The opposite of a zero-tolerance approach is a measured intervention approach that promotes reasonableness, dignity, and respect.

"Simply expressed, the repressive system is dictatorial and may temporarily stop a disorder, but will not inspire students. The preventive system speaks the language of the heart and is transformational."

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets

“The violent rampages taking place throughout America, with probability that this scourge will not end anytime soon, must motivate the nation to enhance vigilance and harden targets.

“These are challenging times for police, private security, and citizens, but we must rise to the occasion to prevent all acts of violence with an unwavering dedication to collaboration.”

Honoring American Immigrants: Family, Neighbors, Heroes

“Immigrants represent the ideals, principles, and freedom of our country and are represented by our families, neighbors, and heroes.

“Today, there is a frenzy of emotion over immigrants and the role America must play with this issue that involves the security of our borders.

“Solving this issue is achievable and critical for reawakening the nation. But the fact remains that America is a great land because of the values, vision, and service of countless immigrants.

“Immigrants are our families, neighbors, and heroes and we must be forever honor their contributions to America.”

America’s Corrupt Culture Beckons Ethical Renaissance

“Inspiring an ethical renaissance in America is a daunting task but we must rise to the occasion. Our country has had seemingly insurmountable trials before and we have risen to the occasion.

“Corruption is a crisis that runs deep within the arteries of many public servants. Our first step toward renewal is to accept the crisis of character as a reality without denial.

“When we make an honest assessment of this crisis, we can commit ourselves to reawakening the nation through accountability in the criminal justice system, ethics initiatives throughout every level of society, and a world-class, second-to-none character education initiative for every American student.

“If we are serious about America, we will be fully dedicated to its ethical renaissance and find no excuses for changing the course of the nation.”

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 180 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.


Photos

1. American flags, Rockefeller Center, NYC. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. Martin Luther King, Jr. leading march from Selma to Montgomery to protest lack of voting rights for African Americans. Beside King is John Lewis, Reverend Jesse Douglas, James Forman and Ralph Abernathy. (Photo by Steve Schapiro/Corbis via Getty Images)

3. Veteran Jose Gonzalez pauses at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in New York City during the Memorial Day Observation on May 26, 2014. Gonzalez served in Vietnam 1968–1972. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. NYPD at Times Square on March 25, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

5. President Harry Truman awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to Macario García in 1945. (National Archives and Records Administration)

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 09, 2016

National Police Week: Honoring Ethical Guardians

As America pays special recognition to law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, the nation must pause.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the calendar week in which it falls as National Police Week.

These are challenging times for the law enforcement community due to the culture of violence throughout American society, as well as the controversies involving policing.

Yet, the fact remains that law enforcement is an honorable profession, and our ethical guardians serve America when honoring the badge and communities they protect.

Alarming Law Enforcement Fatalities

As of May 8, 2016, there is an alarming uptick in law enforcement fatalities according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

Compared to the same time frame last year, there are already 17 firearms-related fatalities, a 70 percent increase.

These statistics are alarming but never paint the picture of broken hearts suffered by family members and law enforcement communities.

We must honor these heroes by taking a moment to reflect on some of the recent tragedies of law enforcement officers gone too soon.

Police Officer Steven M. Smith - He died two days after sustaining a gunshot wound on April 12. Officer Smith was a member of the Columbus, Ohio Division of Police. He was shot while serving an arrest warrant as part of a SWAT team.

Trooper Chad P. Dermyer – He was a member of the Virginia State Police who was shot and killed on March 31 while interviewing a suspect who produced a handgun and shot him.

Deputy Sheriff Carl A. Koontz – He was a member of the Hudson County, Ind. Sheriff’s Office. He was killed on March 21 while serving drug-related warrants.

Police Officer Allen Lee Jacobs – He was a member of the Greenville, S.C. Police Department. Officer Jacobs was shot and killed on March 18 while conducting a field interview. While approaching a self-identified gang member, the suspect fled the scene while opening fire on Officer Jacobs and his partner. Officer Jacob was hit several times.

Police Officer Ashley Guindon – She was shot and killed on February 27 while responding to a domestic dispute call. While the fatality of every ethical guardian wounds the heart of America, Officer Guindon’s death was uniquely heartbreaking. She was sworn in as a police officer only the day before, and it was her first shift as a Prince William County, Va. police officer.

Ethical Guardians: Earning Community Respect

While complementing the honoring of fallen offices during National Police Week, it is imperative to also appreciate the work of our police throughout the nation, particularly through daily acts of their service we easily take for granted, and community policing initiatives.

Although controversies deserve honest evaluations in order for policing to make these issues opportunities for renewal, and addressed in numerous other articles of mine, the purpose of this article is to honor the fallen and accentuate positive policing initiatives.

One positive community policing initiative took place on Saturday, May 7 as a collaboration of the Essex County N.J. Crime Prevention Officers Association and Essex County Chiefs of Police.

The event, held at the Livingston, New Jersey Mall was supported by numerous law enforcement agencies from throughout the state, as well as fire officials, first responders, and corporate professionals.

It was a statement of positive interaction with the community as hundreds of shoppers, including many children, took pictures with police officers.

Despite the law enforcement community being under scrutiny, this was an outstanding initiative building trust, respect, and rapport between the police and the people.

As a speaker during the opening ceremony, I encouraged the police in their roles as ethical guardians and commended them for keeping communities, families, and schools secure.

Final Reflections

America’s ethical guardians are vital to the security of our nation and all law-abiding citizens must honor their sacrifices and respect their efforts.

These are defining times for American policing and we will be successful with reawakening the nation when there is a committed unity of effort between law enforcement and our citizens.

More:

The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian

Ethical Guardians: Repudiating the Ferguson Effect

Principles of American Policing

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

Fallen Police Officers: Honoring American Sentinels

Policing Dangers Demand Community Collaboration

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 175 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.


Photos

1. Police Officer Steven M. Smith (Courtesy Columbus (OH) Division of Police)
2. Trooper Chad P. Dermyer (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
3. Police Officer Ashley Guindon ( Courtesy Prince William County (VA) Police Department)
4. Vincent J. Bove delivering opening remarks at the Essex County (NJ) Police & Public Safety Expo, Livingston, New Jersey on May 7, 2016. (Courtesy Vincent J. Bove Publishing)

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Public Safety: Honoring Ethical Guardians

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, I was honored to share opening remarks at the Essex County Police & Public Safety Expo. The annual event is a collaboration of the Essex County Crime Prevention Officers Association and the Essex County Association of Police Chiefs and held at the Livingston Mall, New Jersey.

During my remarks I commended the police, fire officials, and first responders for their dedication to protect and serve.

As noted in my many published works, as well as speaking engagements, these men and women are called to be the ethical guardians of society. The security of American communities is the result of their vigilance, and their service must be honored and supported by all law-abiding citizens.

The numerous participating agencies involved with this community event are all worthy of commendation. In particular, the leadership of the Livingston Police Department, under the command of Chief Craig Handschuch, and their tireless dedication to positive community policing initiatives deserves special recognition.

Also, the meticulous service of the New Jersey Department of Corrections Honor Guard, under the leadership of Sgt. George Goldner, gave dignity to the occasion. Their presence and solemn honoring of America's flag was an inspiration to all.

It has been my privilege to speak at these events since 2009, as noted below, and I commend the leadership of Officer Gary Mankowitz of the Livingston Police Department for his dedication to community policing and organizing this event.

Livingston Police Department Police and Public Safety Expo, May 15, 2009 Blog

On Saturday, May 9, 2009 a Police and Public Safety Expo was held at the Livingston Mall in New Jersey as coordinated by the Livingston Police Department.

The venue was a collaboration of federal, state, regional, county and local law enforcement agencies. It represented an outstanding community policing initiative allowing residents to interact with law enforcement and public safety officials.

After a welcome by Livingston Police Chief Craig Handschuch, Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow addressed the attendees reminding all of the privilege of serving and protecting the public. Prosecutor Dow also led a moment of silence to honor military in harms way, especially those who have been wounded or served with the ultimate sacrifice.

As an invited speaker, I shared remarks on the importance of a renewed dedication to courage, community and compassion in roles of public service.

Agencies involved with the expo included:

  • Belleville Police Department
  • New Jersey Department of Corrections
  • Bloomfield Police Department
  • Caldwell Police Department
  • Cedar Grove Police Department
  • East Orange Police Department
  • Essex County Police Academy
  • Essex County Prosecutor
  • Essex County Sheriff’s Office
  • Essex Fells Police Department
  • Fairfield Police Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Glen Ridge Police Department
  • Irvington Police Department
  • Livingston Police Department
  • Livingston Fire Department
  • Maplewood Police Department
  • Millburn Police Department
  • Montclair Police Department
  • Newark Police Department
  • New Jersey State Police
  • New Jersey Transit Police
  • Orange Police Department
  • Roseland Police Department
  • South Orange Police Department
  • Union County Prosecutor's Office
  • U.S. Customs Service
  • U.S. Marshalls Service
  • Valor Security Services
  • Verona Police Department
  • West Caldwell Police Department
  • West Orange Police Department

I would like to commend the Livingston Police Department for their leadership, participating agencies and sponsors for their generosity, and attendees for coming out to enjoy the event.

Photos 1. Vincent J. Bove with members of the New Jersey Department of Corrections Honor Guard. (Courtesy Vincent J. Bove Publishing)
2. Chief Craig Handschuch, Livingston Police Department. (Vincent J. Bove)

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Holocaust Remembrance Day: Respect, Reflect, Resolve

On Thursday, May 5, 2016, the world must pause to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It is a solemn day to remember the six million Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust.

In an atrocity unparalleled in evil and scope, six million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Between 1940 and 1945, about 1.5 million men, women, and children died at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

The Innocence of a Child

Anne Frank stands as the most memorable child of World War II and one of the most enduring children of all of history. Anne is a testimony to the dignity of the human being and that virtue endures despite the darkest possibility of inhumanity.

"The Diary of Anne Frank" charts the two years of this young Jewish girl from 1942-1944 when she hid with her family and another family from the Nazis.

The book has become one of the critical documents of the 20th century and profoundly inspires diversity, the power of the pen, and the triumph of good over evil.

Anne's book is one of the world's most read literary treasures, selling over 25 million copies and being translated into 67 different languages.

As a German-Jewish teenager, Anne was forced into hiding to escape execution from the Nazis during the Holocaust. After 25 months of hiding with her family, she was betrayed to the Nazis and deported to the Bergen-Bergen concentration camp. She died at 15 years old of typhus in March 1945 while in the concentration camp.

Despite the dark chaos of intolerance, hatred, and ignorance during her time, Anne Frank continued to believe in the goodness of humanity. On July 15, 1944, Anne wrote:

"It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more."

Night by Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the author of 36 works dealing with Judaism, the Holocaust and the moral responsibility of all people to fight hatred, racism, and genocide. In his book, Night, one of the most profound and renowned works of Holocaust literature, Wiesel records his lifelong personal anguish with the Holocaust:

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."

Testimonial of a Holocaust Survivor

Reflecting on the Holocaust, I am reminded of an event I took part in on March 28, 2007. The Anti-Defamation League celebrated a Solidarity Seder with law enforcement, government, community, faith-based, corporate, and citizen guests in Trenton, New Jersey.

It was fittingly held at the Trenton War Memorial, a national historic site, built as a great community center dedicated to the memory of American soldiers and sailors who died fighting World War I.

Prior to the Seder, a representative of the Anti-Defamation League explained the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Contradicting their hatred, he shared these treasured words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door"

Testimonials were then shared, including one from a young man who spoke about the heartbreak of seeing his mother arrested as they attempted to enter America from Mexico. This young man went on to proudly become an American citizen and applied to become a member of the United States Army.

Another young man stated there are no complaints about immigration as American’s enjoy the fruits and vegetables harvested through the labor and sweat of immigrants working on farms.

The most moving testimonial was by Holocaust survivor Shelly Zeiger who spoke passionately about “the town’s fool.” This man, lovingly referred to as Anton by Zeiger, was ridiculed as a misfit by his townspeople in western Ukraine and considered a fool because of his obsessive respect for all life.

Although a Catholic, Anton risked his own life to hide Jewish neighbors in his home. Anton hid Shelly, his father and mother, and two girls from the Nazis in the Zbrow ghetto for 27 months beginning in 1942. Shelly said, “Anton was truly a hero who teaches us to respect each human being, for courage can be found in the most unlikely of persons.”

After the war, Shelly and his family came to America. Years later, he mustered enough courage to go back to his hometown in the Ukraine to find Anton. He found him and brought him to live with him and his family in America, a country whose appreciation for diversity is the heartbeat of the nation and the world.

Liberation Monument, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ

Surrounded by the historic significance of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline, is the Liberation Monument. Designed by Sculptor Natan Rapaport, this inspirational statue depicts a World War II American Soldier carrying a survivor from the Auschwitz concentration camp. The image moves the soul to reflect on the values of compassion, character, and community.

The legacy of America urges a rebirth of patriotism that will transform us once again into a nation destined to be a hope for the world through our commitment to moral leadership, persevering vigilance, and dedicated collaboration.

Note Well:
Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Photo's
1. US Army medics help evacuate ill and starving survivors, Buchenwald, Germany, April 1, 1945. (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

2. Diary of Anne Frank

3. The Liberation Monument (Bill Kimbark)

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian

Recently, I shared remarks to an assembly of 150 police chiefs, community leaders, private security directors, and law enforcement officials including the FBI, on American policing issues.

These remarks were delivered at the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association (BCPCA) event in Alpine, New Jersey on April 21, 2016.

The BCPCA is comprised of over 70 police agencies within the county; numerous city, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, private security professionals, and community leaders.

This unity of action from the public and private sectors is reflected in their mission statement:

“To secure a closer official and personal relationship among police officials in the County of Bergen; to secure unity of action in police matters; to elevate the standards of police institutions; to strive for advancement among all lines that pertain to the prevention and to the detection of crime and the promotion of police efficiency in general.”

The mission statement is complemented by charitable community initiatives for the needy, veterans, students, families, hospitalized, and schools.

BCPCA: A History of Community Policing

My remarks for the BCPCA crystalized an upcoming initiative that I will develop for the police and people of Bergen County.

The initiative will be titled “The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian.” It will address critical policing issues covered in many of my Epoch Times articles over the last two years. These articles encourage police to serve as ethical guardians, and to have a full force dedication to enhancing police-community relations.

As a member of the BCPCA for the last 15 years, I have been honored to serve on numerous policing initiatives which has included six years as a primary community policing instructor and presentations at five conferences.

Each conference was filled to capacity with over 250 attendees and addressed community policing, terrorism prevention, school violence prevention, crisis management, and ethics.

The conferences were a collaboration with police chiefs, prosecutors, sheriffs, numerous law enforcement agencies, community leaders, and 279 Bergen county schools.

This unity of effort represents the heart of addressing police-community issues not only in New Jersey, but throughout the county.

America Policing Dangers: Fast Facts

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), there are over 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers serving in the United States, the highest ever figure.

The NLEOMF presents some key data highlighting American policing issues that includes the following:

• Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 20,789 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

• A total of 1,439 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 61 hours or 144 per year. There were 123 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2015.

• There were 15,725 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2014, the most recent comprised record, resulting in 13,824 injuries.

• The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.

• New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 705 deaths. Texas has lost 1,682 officers, more than any other state.

These tragic statistics remind us of the dangers faced by our police, and the importance of not only appreciating their efforts, but assisting them in our communities.

A Clarion Call for Police-Community Collaboration

As detailed in my Epoch Times, September 4, 2015 article column titled “Policing Dangers Demand Community Collaboration,” whenever a law enforcement official is contemptuously murdered, the heart of America is wounded.

The article sounds a clarion call to enhance police-community collaboration by emphasizing vigilance among the police and community members.

Collaboration, as well as ethical principles, is further emphasized in my “Principles of American Policing.”

The first principle is as follows:

“Being pro-police and pro-community are inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent. Police must at all times remain fully committed to protecting and serving the public through character, ethics, and leadership that is total and wholehearted. Police must be guided by a moral compass that honors the community, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.”

Police Controversies, Protests, Concerns: A Defining Moment

As memorialized by incidents throughout America, many of which were videoed, it would be naïve, disingenuous, and irresponsible to minimize various police controversies, protests, and concerns.

These issues must be honestly addressed by law enforcement and law-abiding community members.

Commissioner William J. Bratton during an October 2, 2014 retreat of over 800 top department executives, served as a model to American policing through his candid remarks.

In his customary transparent honesty, Bratton addressed the small percentage of NYPD officers who are “poisoning the well” and needed to be weeded out.

“My intention going forward is to ensure that we will aggressively seek to get those out of the department who should not be there—the brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the incompetent…

“They are poisoning the well, and the trust that we deserve and the trust that we need is eroded by some of their actions,” Bratton said.

This is a defining moment for transforming American policing. We will be on the path of reawakening the nation by encouraging police in their critical role as ethical guardians, giving them the assistance they deserve, and intensifying our resolve for enhancing police-community cohesiveness.

More:
Ethical Guardians: Repudiating the Ferguson Effect

Police-Community Crisis: Rise to the Occasion

Transforming American Policing: A Defining Moment

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

Transforming the NYPD: Terminating Toxic Police Officers

NYPD Mission: Terminate, Train, Transform

Policing Demands Ethical Sentinels

Police–Community Division: America Unite

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 175 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.


Photos

1. NYPD presence, Times Square, NYC, Jan. 15, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. Essex County New Jersey Police Academy graduates, Aug. 13, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD presence, Brooklyn Bridge during Good Friday procession, March 25, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America

West Point, formally known as the United States Military Academy (USMA) has been developing, motivating, and inspiring leaders of character for America for over 200 years.

The USMA is admired internationally for its academic, military, patriotic, and fitness programs. These are all built on the pillars of character, ethics, integrity, and leadership.

The West Point Mission is “To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.”

West Point Cadets: A Day to Remember

On Thursday, April 14,2016, I delivered the opening presentation as requested by the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) for West Point Cadets visiting Jersey City.

Their visit honored the principles of community policing, patriotism, and leadership through a unique program titled “Winning the Peace.” This program is a collaboration of the USMA, JCPD, government leaders, faith-based communities, and corporate partners.

The initiative started twelve years ago and has included presentations as well as cadet visits to historic landmarks, Egyptian churches, various mosques and Islamic centers, Jewish synagogues, Mormon communities, and corporate facilities.

During my presentation titled “West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America,” I encouraged the cadets to develop deep rooted values of character, ethics, and leadership.

This presentation honestly assessed critical issues facing America today and emphasized that ethical principles inspired by our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the West Point legacy are principles needed to transform the nation.

My agenda used a metaphor of a catastrophic head on collision with two trains traveling at high speed. I used this image with accompanying slides to illuminate America’s crisis of character and culture of violence in America society.

America’s shattered communities, demonstrated through deteriorated families, substance abuse, and the gang culture, resulting in violence, prison, death, were also depicted with my slide presentation.

After honestly addressing these issues, solutions were presented that included cultivating altruism, visionary leadership principles, a call to action, and the importance of always honoring America’s military sacrifices.

The visionary leadership portion of my presentation included these principles:

• Leadership must be grounded in moral self-confidence developed by understanding through study, hard work, and education

• Leadership must accept the diversity and talents of the team and forge partnerships, cohesion, and significance to a cause

• Leadership is aware of the efficacy of truth and the destructiveness of dishonesty

• Leadership opposes the immorality of injustice

• Leadership understands that there is no persuasion without credibility

• Leadership responds to the needs of the community with humility, appreciation, and selflessness

• Leadership overcomes every hardship, handicap, and challenge to achieve its goals

After my presentation, the JCPD escorted all attendees into the heart of America history with a tour of Ellis Island and then Empty Sky, the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial in Liberty State Park, Jersey City.

West Point: A History of Character Initiatives

This “Winning the Peace” program complemented 10 years of various initiatives I have had with the USMA.

These included three years of participation as a speaker, mentor, and senior leader for the National Conference on Ethics in America at the USMA.

Other initiatives included my speaking engagements with Lt. General Robert L. Caslen Jr., superintendent of the USMA. These involved our presentations for an FBI management retreat as well as for “The Inaugural New Jersey Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership.” This was a filled to capacity conference for over 250 law enforcement officials hosted by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on May 12, 2014.

Both these events encouraged ethical leadership for FBI management and law enforcement as highlighted by these principles highlighted by Lt. General Caslen:

Honor – adherence to the highest standards of integrity

Respect – treating people with dignity

Servant Leadership - putting others before ourselves

Integrity – doing what is morally and ethically right even when no one is watching

Final Reflections

A day with the West Point Cadets was truly inspirational as these outstanding young men and women represent America’s ethical values. Their dedication to character, visionary leadership, and patriotism makes one proud of America and gives great hope for our future.

The collaborative leadership of the USMA, JPCD, government leaders, faith-based communities, and private enterprises made the event an outstanding success.

America’s future is bright, represented by the ethical principles of the USMA, and inspiring character in their cadets, shinning stars for the U.S. Army and our nation’s reawakening.

Finally, I would like to commend Captain Brian McDonough, Rtd., Jersey City Police Department, and currently Director of Healthcare Safety & Security for CarePoint Health Hoboken University Hospital. Brian's admired leadership career with the JCPD is unparalleled and his professionalism with coordinating my presentation for this event is truly appreciated.

More:

America’s Realignment: Character, Ethics, Leadership

America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

Life Lessons From the United States Military

Understanding Islam Is Essential to Community Policing

The FBI: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

Testimonial

“I would like to personally thank you for your presentation at the annual Jersey City Police Department sponsored "Winning the Peace Program." A community-policing program that integrates diverse beliefs and opinions of leaders who represent multiple ethnic groups and various religious organizations, corporations, season veteran police officers, and West Point cadets. Judging from the attention-focused and thought provoking questions of the cadets, I believe your illumination of America’s crisis of character and culture of violence inspired all leaders in attendance. More specifically, the future military leaders of the United States Army, motivating them to challenge and overcome these lapses of leadership through their deep rooted values of character, ethics, and leadership.” Captain Brian McDonough, Rtd., Jersey City Police Department

Photos

1. U.S. Army Major Ryan Boeka (l) and U.S. Army Major Aaron Miller (r) lead West Point Cadets through Empty Sky, the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, April 14, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. West Point Cadets during change of class, April 3, 2006. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. Attendees at the National Conference on Ethics in America at West Point walking to conference presentations, October 20, 2008. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. West Point Honor Code monument at the USMA campus. (Vincent J. Bove)

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 175 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Columbine, Virginia Tech Anniversaries: Reverence, Vigilance, Prevention

As America commemorates the anniversaries of the Columbine High School and Virginia Tech tragedies on the fateful days of April 16 and 20 respectively, we must pause.

The events demand reverence for those who lost their lives and prayer for their families.

Vigilance, especially during these tragic anniversary times, is also in order. An abundance of caution must be the foundation of mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery principles of crisis management.

Columbine: A Snapshot

On April 20, 1999, two students killed 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, before committing suicide. The tragedy sparked a national response on school violence, bullying, character education, crisis planning, warning signs, police tactics, and firearms.

The tragedy continues to be analyzed due to its issues including the following:

• Diversionary tactics
• Propane tanks converted to bombs
• Nearly 100 explosive devices and bombs
• Firearms including a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun, a Hi-Point 995 Carbine 9mm, and a 9mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun.

Columbine, and other incidents, led to a U.S. Secret Service report that shared the following findings relative to pre-attack behavior:

• Incidents of targeted violence at school were rarely sudden, impulsive acts.
• Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack.
• Most attackers did not threaten their targets directly prior to advancing the attack.
• There is no accurate or useful profile of students who engaged in targeted school violence.
• Most attackers engaged in some behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern, or indicated a need for help.
• Most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Moreover, many had considered or attempted suicide.
• Many attackers felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack.
• Most attackers had access to and had used weapons prior to the attack.
• In many cases, other students were involved in some capacity.
• Despite prompt law enforcement responses, most shooting incidents were stopped by means other than law enforcement intervention.

Virginia Tech: A Snapshot

The serenity of Virginia Tech was shattered on April 16, 2007, with 32 students and teachers killed and 17 wounded.

This violence was particularly heart wrenching because it was preventable. But lessons were not learned from the Columbine tragedy and numerous government documents including the following:

• “Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools,” August 1998
• “The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States” by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education, May 2002
• “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities,” May 2003

Despite a student killing two students on the fourth floor of the West Ambler Johnston residence hall, there were no precautions taken by school administration for the possibility that other shootings may occur. It was more than two hours later when an email alert was sent to the entire campus, but no emergency actions, such as lockdown, were implemented. Reprehensibly, the email did not emphasize that two students were killed or that the shooter was still at large.

Virginia Tech was eerily reminiscent of the Columbine tragedy—whose eighth anniversary was to be commemorated in just four days. It would be later discovered that the killer was obsessed with the Columbine killings.

How is it conceivable that two people are killed on a college campus during the anniversary week of Columbine, with a killer at large and no lockdown implemented? The failure of leadership is inexcusable as nothing was done to prevent the additional killings and injuries over two hours later.

Also, despite the pleadings of a vigilant professor calling for help for this student who manifested severe, troubling warning signs, school officials failed to provide the proper intervention to protect the campus. Not only were there warning signs, but the university had been put on notice at least a year and a half before the incident.

America wake up: character education, warning signs, threat assessment, and crisis planning principles must be the order of the day.

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 175 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. This blog was published in the Epoch Times, April 17,2015 edition.

Photos

1. Mourners during Virginia Tech's Day of Remembrance honoring the 32 people killed in a mass shooting one year earlier, in Blacksburg, Va., on April 16, 2008. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

2. The cover of the study “Campus Attacks” released in April 2010. (Courtesy of FBI, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Secret Service)

3. Victims of violent crime by age. (Courtesy of U.S. Department of Education)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, April 11, 2016

Torture, Waterboarding Demand America’s Moral Realignment

Torture and waterboarding have been topics of conversation with current American presidential candidates, and issues of controversy that demand our moral realignment.

These issues involve intense emotionality but cooler heads must prevail, which is only possible with a proper understanding of natural law, ethical principles, and human decency.

The Natural Law: Foundation of Ethical Decisions

The natural law is engraved in to the heart of each rational person, beckoning them to make ethical decisions that benefit society and the common good.

Natural law is always governed by reason and it is universal to every human being.

Philosophically, human beings have the capacity to freely make decisions and the foundation of ethical choices must always complement the natural law.

Despite different places, times, and circumstances, natural law binds people of good will together. It has the capacity to overcome ignorance, hostility, and hatred.

Even with misunderstandings, as well as atrocities and acts of terrorism, the natural law must never be destroyed or removed from the heart of moral dignity.

The natural law is the foundation of ethical behavior, critical to the human community, and indispensable for civil law and societal harmony.

It is impossible for presidential candidates, government leaders, or anyone entrusted with authority over others to make correct moral decisions without a proper understanding of natural law and a dedication to its principles.

Abu Ghraib Torture Scandal: America’s Shame

During my past experiences with the National Conference on Ethics in America at the United States Military Academy (USMA), I had the privilege of sharing, as well as listening, to inspirational ethical principles by military, corporate, athletic, and student leaders.

During one presentation on October 22, 2007, Lt. General Franklin L. Hagenbeck, superintendent of the USMA at the time, honestly addressed the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

Hagenbeck stated that the scandal was a failure of ethical principles, the rule of law, justice, and integrity, defiling the U.S. Military reputation and our national honor.

Some fast facts on this shameful chapter of American history that violated natural law, human decency, and the honor deserving of our military, include the following:

• Abu Ghraib was a U.S. Army detention center for captured Iraq’s from 2003-2006, holding as many as 3,800 detainees.

• Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted of crimes relating to the scandal and a number of others were charged but not reprimanded.

• Abuses were depicted in graphic photographs that went viral, showing detainees being humiliated, tortured, and abused. The scandal was described by the secretary of defense at the time as “incidents of physical violence towards prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel, and inhuman.”

Fitting, Hagenbeck’s assessment of the abuse was followed by a presentation by Len Marella, a graduate of West Point, who stressed that we must rise above the current ethical crisis by “developing citizens of character, which is the most defining issue of our time and this [is] only possible when we seek to discover truth and decide what is right.”

Waterboarding: Issues and Response

Recently, Republican presidential candidates have addressed issues of torture and waterboarding.

One candidate stated, “Well, under the definition of torture, [waterboarding] no it’s not … It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.”

Another candidate, also misunderstanding natural law and ethical military conduct stated, “I have no doubt that it [waterboarding] works in terms of information and other things. And maybe not always. But I have no doubt it works.”

This candidate vowed he would bring back not only the practice of waterboarding but more.

These approaches are misguided as our nation must honor the natural law, and avoid any superficiality or desecration of its principles.

Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war who personally experienced episodes of torture, said about waterboarding, “These forms of torture not only failed their purpose to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the United States and our allies, but compromised our values, stained our national honor and did little practical good.”

Aside from McCain, CIA Director John Brennan has made it clear that his agency will not engage in harsh “enhanced interrogation” practices, including waterboarding – even if ordered to do so by a future president.

Brennan was unequivocal in his statement, “Absolutely, I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.”

Final Reflections

There are individuals who desecrate the natural law and violate human dignity. But America must carry the torch of ethical principles and never lower our standards to those who dishonor humanity's moral code.

Understanding natural law, Thomas Jefferson stated, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

America is one of the treasures of the world because of our respect for human rights, moral decency, and natural law.

Our nation clearly understands that contempt for human decency is a violation of our ethical principles deeply rooted in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

America must also understand that torture, using any form of physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, abuse opponents, or sadistically satisfy revenge, is a contradiction of our dignity and moral values.

Our country deserves a moral realignment highlighted by character, ethics, and leadership.

America will be on the path to reawakening the nation when the natural law, human dignity, and moral decency are honored, and done so without compromise.

More:

Lincoln’s Leadership Principles for Presidential Candidates

America’s Next President Demands an Ethical Protector

America’s President Must Have Character, Ethics, Leadership

America’s Next President Needs to Have Altruistic Leadership

America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

America’s Realignment: Character, Ethics, Leadership

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 175 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photo

An Iraqi man waits for the release of his relative detained in the Abu Ghraib prison, outside of Baghdad, Iraq, on May 21, 2004. (Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

America’s Deadly Drug Crisis Demands Moral Courage

There are staggering statistics of America’s drug abuse crisis that can appear sterile but the reality is human brokenness, family heartbreak, and shattered communities.

Opiods alone are killing nearly as many Americans as guns or auto accidents, an estimated 28,647 a year, or 78 people a day.

The drug crisis is fueled not only by dope pushers but doctors too easily prescribing painkillers and by the public ignorance regarding abuse, addiction, and deadly consequences.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are reaping billions of dollars in profit as many abuse the system with activities including doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions.

America’s response must be ignited by moral courage, the critical principle of effective leadership, so that the scourge of the drug abuse crisis is remedied.

Recent Deaths: A Partial List

These are only a few of the tragic incidents memorializing the human suffering associated with our drug abuse crisis:

Grand Prairie, TX: A heart-wrenching tragedy was in a published April 1 report and involved a mother, high on heroin, admitting to beating her 4-year-old daughter to death. The child, Leiliana Wright, died of blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen. Police say the mother admitted to shooting heroin and then repeatedly hit the child with a belt and bamboo stick after the girl drank her 18-month-old brothers’ juice.

Sacramento, CA: A March 31 report documented the death of an El Dorado Hills teen, who was the 29th recent case of overdose deaths related to fentanyl in the county. “We get a lot of overdose deaths every day, so you can’t automatically assume they’re related to fentanyl and hydrocodone pills,' said El Dorado County Office spokesperson Lt. Jim Beyers. “But we were advised … that it was confirmed fentanyl.”

Cheatham, TN: On March 26, a 17-year-old high school student died from what local law enforcement authorities stated as “We believe he drank a mixture of liquid morphine and Gatorade.”

Milwaukee, WI: A March 16 report noted that officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office finalized more than 250 drug-related deaths in the county in 2015. Perhaps the most startling fact of the report is that fentanyl deaths increased by 500 percent. Sara Schreiber, the forensic toxicology director emphasized the potency of fentanyl as “something that is prescribed for chronic pain. It's often given to cancer patients or patients suffering from a great deal of pain for a long period of time.”

Covington, LA: on March 13, 17-year-old Alexander James Shelly was found dead. Apparently, he and a friend were smoking synthetic marijuana when they both blacked out. When the friend woke up, investigators say, he found Shelly face-down in a flooded ditch.

Opiod Addiction: 2016 Facts and Figures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), America is experiencing an epidemic of drug abuse overdose deaths.

The CDC notes that since 2000, the “rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opiods.”

Since opiod abuse in on the rise, let us take a moment to address the crisis associated with this class of drugs.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), “opiods are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.

ASAM also notes the following in a 2016 facts and figures document:

• Of the 21.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2014, (2015 statistics are still being compiled) 1.9 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.

• It is estimated that 23% of individuals who use heroin develop opioid addiction.

• Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

• In 2014, 467,000 adolescents were current nonmedical users of pain relievers, with 168,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers.

• In 2014, an estimated 28,000 adolescents had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 16,000 were current heroin users. Additionally, an estimated 18,000 adolescents had a heroin use disorder in 2014.

Empowering America’s Youth to Turn the Tide

Although there are many approaches to our drug abuse crisis, let us spotlight the importance of empowering our youth as critical advocates to remedy the crisis.

In my signature presentation titled, “Be a Person of Character: Change the World,” which I have been privileged to present to thousands of middle school, high school, and college students, I honestly address the brokenness in society that has been compounded by the drug abuse crisis.

It is my firm conviction that honestly assessing this issue by showing the tragic consequences, and empowering our youth with the encouragement they need, will help defeat this crisis and change the course of the nation.

Final Reflections

America’s drug abuse scourge is inflicting unimaginable heartbreak to communities, families, and individuals.

We will be on the path to reawakening the nation when we respond from many perspectives, but include speaking heart-to-heart with our youth, especially through America’s schools.

America’s youth deserve the example, encouragement, and tools needed to use their energy to terminate our deadly drug abuse crisis.

More:

America’s 21st Century Student: Character, Courage, Community

America’s Graduates: Transform the Nation With Character

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

America’s 21st Century Parent: Interested, Informed, Involved

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.


Labels: , , ,