Friday, July 18, 2014

America’s Gun Violence: Time for Action

Whatever approach one has regarding gun control, the fact is gun violence in America is unbridled, malignant, and destructive.

The Second Amendment is a sacrosanct principle of American freedom. Yet, it must be properly understood.

The term gun control can be misleading as for some it implies a loss of freedom as guaranteed by our bill of rights. Perhaps a more sensible term that captures the essence of the issue will develop in time.

Meanwhile, adoption of common sense policies to reduce gun violence as advocated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police must include:

•Banning armor-piercing ammunition
•Assault weapons ban
•Body armor for police
•Concealed weapons
•Firearms enforcement
•Firearms offender registry
•Firearm purchase waiting period
•Closing the gun show loophole
•Ending illegal firearms trafficking

America’s Violent Summer
Summer violence is quickly painting a picture of senseless bloodshed throughout the nation.

On July 13, 2014, Jersey City, N.J., rookie police officer Melvin Santiago, 23, is shot in the head and killed after responding to a report of an armed robbery.

During the July 4 weekend, two Indianapolis, Ind., police officers are also killed in separate incidents.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Officers Foundation cites a 65 percent increase of firearms related officer deaths as of July 14, 2014, compared to this time last year—28 officers to 17 in 2013.

On July 13, 2014, in Washington, D.C., seven people are shot—three fatally—in three unrelated shootings just blocks apart.

On July 10, 2014, Six members of a family including four children are shot to death in a suburb north of Houston, Texas. According to a court testimony, the killer kicked in the home door, tied up the parents and four children, and shot them in the head execution style.

Over the July 4 weekend, 82 people are shot with 16 ultimately dying during an 84-hour period in Chicago.

During the following weekend, another 29 are wounded in shootings with 4 dead.

Chicago police have already confiscated over 3,400 illegal firearms this year.

During the Independence Weekend elsewhere, four people are shot at a Houston, Texas, festival. In New York City another 12 people are shot—three fatally—and three people are shot dead with several others wounded in St. Louis, Mo.

On July 5, 2014, a 12-year-old eighth-grader is shot in the head while riding a scooter with two friends in Paterson, N.J. Genesis Rincon later dies after being removed from life support.

On June 30, 2014, a teen cheerleader who recently graduated high school with a dream of becoming a nurse is shot and killed in Newark, N.J. Cheyanne Bond is the third homicide in the city in less than 24 hours.

In 2013, escalating bloodshed in Trenton, and the most violent 12-month stretch in Newark in nearly 25, years elevated New Jersey homicides to a seven-year high.

Responding to the Crisis
Aside from the aforementioned International Association of Chiefs of Police issues, America’s response must also include:
•Compassion—America must always have a heart of compassion. Victims are never to be treated merely as statistics, political opportunities, or marginalized.
•Law Enforcement Resources—The massive layoffs of police over the last few years—especially in many economically challenged communities—is a travesty. There is always a way for America to do the right thing and every American deserves “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Our nation deserves the finest law enforcement professionals, and agencies across the country need to be staffed as necessary. The NYPD June 2014 graduation of 610 new officers is an example of effective leadership during economically challenging times.
•School/Community Policing Initiatives—The future of the nation is our youth, and schools must partner with law enforcement on character education, youth academies, gang prevention, and violence prevention programs.

As published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Friday, July 18, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

International Association of Chiefs of Police Firearms Position Paper.

Officials investigate a Jersey City Police Department cruiser at the scene where Officer Melvin Santiago was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, on July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Santiago’s death is part of a nationwide uptick in killings of police officers this year. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Monday, July 14, 2014

In Remembrance: Police Officer Melvin Santiago, Jersey City Police Department

On Sunday morning, July 13, 2014, Police Officer Melvin Santiago, 23, was shot and killed while serving Jersey City, New Jersey.

Officer Santiago has now joined the hallowed halls of heroes who have served law enforcement with the ultimate sacrifice. He is a reminder of the continual danger for all police who serve and protect our communities.

As a young man, Officer Santiago choose the path of his uncle's police career footsteps-serving in a profession demanding dedication, courage and commitment. He is a tribute to his family, community, the Jersey City Police Department, all in law enforcement and to the ideals of America.

Officer Santiago will be promoted posthumously to the rank of detective and receive the police department's medal of honor-the highest award for an officer-at his wake on Thursday, July 17, 2014.

Officer Santiago is the first Jersey City Police Officer to be killed since Detective Marc DiNardo in July, 2009 after a shootout which left 4 other officers injured.

In Remembrance: Detective Marc DiNardo, Jersey City Police Department-July 24, 2009 blog

Detective Marc DiNardo, who died on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 after being shot in a gun battle on July 16th, was honored at his funeral by family and thousands of his fellow officers, fire & EMT personnel, community leaders and concerned citizens. He leaves behind a wife and three children. Det. DiNardo, 37, had served the people of Jersey City for 10 years as a member of the Jersey City Police Department.

The tragic death of Det. DiNardo sadly reminds us of the potential dangers faced each day by those in law enforcement who serve, protect and defend us. America must always remember and be grateful for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty and for those who continue to serve at the risk of their own safety.

Officer Melissa Bartholomew, a friend and police academy classmate of DiNardo offered heartfelt sentiments on behalf of the Jersey City Police Department and the family of Officer DiNardo: "He will be greatly missed. He had a personality you could never forget, and when he walked into a room we all loved him."

In Memoriam (2:40)
Funeral Procession (7:31)
Tribute (3:50)
<a HREF="">Play the clip on YouTube</A>

Please remember Det. DiNardo, his family, friends, fellow officers in the Jersey City Police Department and all emergency service personnel in your prayers as they seek consolation during this difficult time.


Officer Down Memorial Page Click here to visit site

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Friday, July 04, 2014

Celebrating America: Democracy, Freedom, Liberty

America celebrates its 238th birthday on July 4, and fireworks will light up the sky throughout the nation.

American flags will fly everywhere as a tribute to independence and the land of the free and home of the brave.

As the fireworks light the sky and flags fly proudly across the homeland, our nation is reminded to focus on its destiny—a light of democracy, freedom, and liberty to the world.

A Troubled World
Despite its imperfections, America has much to celebrate compared to the war, conflict, violence, and the violation of human rights taking place internationally:

Afghanistan—the courage and sacrifices made by so many Americans to assist the country with establishing peace continues to be undermined by a potential complete collapse of the government. After more than 12 years into the war, the insurgency is still very lethal and makes the American exit strategy extremely challenging.

China—human rights violations through the Communist Party rule includes the despicable targeting of Falun Gong. This innocent exercise with a foundation of spirituality intimidates the government and is met with dire consequences including disappearances, torture, and imprisonment of practitioners. Punishment includes murder for organ parts with sales to tourists and wealthy Chinese.

Cuba—laws that prevent human rights and basic freedoms of expression, assembly, religion, speech, and the press. The country remains marginalized from the international community and extreme poverty throughout the country continues.

Honduras—the homicide rate of 90.4 per 100,000 is by far the highest in the world. Gangs and cartels are largely responsible for the violence with families and children seeking to leave the country and come to America.

Iraq—the descent of the country into open civil war during the past few weeks jeopardizes the safety of its people and peace throughout the region. It also intensifies the momentum of extremist groups and potential terrorism within the country and internationally.

Israel—took retaliatory action this week with air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after three kidnapped Israeli teens were found slain.

North Korea—aside from continuous inflammatory rhetoric against South Korea and the United States, the country disregards the human rights of its own people. Its nuclear capability can easily ignite unimaginable devastation.

Syria—the civil war has not only wreaked devastation on the country but is a matter of security for freedom-loving countries including the United States. According to the Homeland Security secretary, Americans who have gone to Syria to fight the rebels often run the risk of returning home influenced by extremist ideologies.

Ukraine—Military operations began this week marking the end to a unilateral cease-fire that had been in place for 10 days. The conflict is also reigniting Cold War tensions between the United States and Russia.

Venezuela—with one of the highest murder rates, the country is rocked by continual political protests, demonstrations, and civil unrest.

These problems have been ignited by the countries horrific violence, inflation, and shortages of basic human necessities.

America’s Hallowed Principles
As affirmed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assembly, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The five freedoms expressed in this amendment are sacred to Americans as they form the rock foundation of democracy and liberty. As we honor our independence on the Fourth of July, we celebrate these freedoms that are the heart of America’s greatness.

Our freedoms are front and center at the nation’s greatest debates. Just this week, the United States Supreme Court in a 5–4 landmark decision affirmed that corporations have religious freedom. Therefore, they cannot be compelled to provide contraceptive medical coverage against their conscience.

Although the emotional spectrum of this hot-button issue will continue, many see the decision as a protection of freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, critical to reawakening the nation and allowing America to be a light of freedom throughout the world.

As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Epoch Times on Friday, the Fourth of July, 2014.

1.American Flags at the West Side Entrance of Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street. (Vincent J. Bove)
2.Falun Gong practitioners at Times Square on May 18, 2012. (Vincent J. Bove)
3.Citizens exercising constitutional right to peaceably assemble in front of New York Public Library at 41st Street and Fifth Avenue on July 12, 2013. Bill de Blasio, prior to his election as mayor is at the right of the podium. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Lou Gehrig: 75th Anniversary of "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" Speech

"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." — Lou Gehrig

The commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech takes place on Friday, July 4, 2014.
All of Major League Baseball's 30 teams will hold pregame ceremonies to honor Gehrig's speech before the Fourth of July games.

We do well to reflect on the life of Lou Gehrig—not only because he was one of the greatest players on the field, but because of the greatness of character the Iron Horse displayed off the field.

I have spent many days at Yankee Stadium with my son Austin while he was growing up, enjoying regular season games, playoffs and even the World Series. These games—Austin wore the jersey of his favorite player, Paul O’Neill as I wore the jersey of my all time favorite, Lou Gehrig—provided many memories and a special father/son bond.

Aside from these memories with my son, my past experience as a confidant to the New York Yankees in the 1980's and authoring a book titled And on the Eighth Day God Created the Yankees during that time make baseball a special part of my life. In the book is one of my favorite photos of Lou Gehrig signing his 1937 contract for $37,700 while Jacob Ruppert, Joe McCarthy and Joe DiMaggio look on.

The Character of Lou Gehrig—The Iron Horse

Immortalized as the Pride of the Yankees, Lou Gehrig's durability and dedication are reflected in his playing in 2,130 consecutive games between 1925-1939. Complimenting this streak, he held a record of 23 career grand slams for decades. Gehrig had a .340 lifetime batting average, won the American League MVP Award in 1927 & 1936 and was a Triple Crown winner in 1934.

The character of Lou Gehrig was exemplified throughout his life, beginning with his humble upbringing in New York City, his college career at Columbia University and throughout his years with the New York Yankees. His character is most remembered through the memory of July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium. Lou, after a lifetime of contributing to the game of baseball as a player, was only 36 years old and dying. More than 61,000 fans listened to his words—one of the greatest messages of character America has ever heard:

"For the past two weeks, you've been reading about a bad break. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Personal Baseball Experiences
Aside from serving as confidant to the Yankees, by far my favorite baseball experience is coaching my son’s little league team for seven years and sharing Gehrig stories, as well as personal Yankee experiences, to inspire sportsmanship with his team.

I believe youth sports venues should be packed with parents and loved ones, so coaching my son’s team was not only a privilege but a responsibility. The years of childhood fly by quickly and provide a treasure-trove of opportunity for developing character, community, and family through parental support and example.

Final Reflection
Perhaps Richard Vidmer, a reporter covering the story the next day for the Herald Tribune, expressed it best:
"Somehow I felt that at the Stadium yesterday not a great baseball player but a truly great sportsman who could take his triumphs with sincere modesty and could face tragedy with a smile. His records will attest to future generations that Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived, but only those who have been fortunate enough to have known him during his most glorious years will realize that he has stood for something finer than merely a great baseball player—that he stood for everything that makes sports important in the American scene."

Lou Gehrig - Pride of the Yankees (2:53)
Lou Gehrig - The Iron Horse (5:21)
<a HREF="">Play the clip on YouTube</A>


Blog—Transforming Major League Baseball Click here to visit site
Blog—Baseball Steroid Scandal: Jason Giambi Admits Use Click here to visit site

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Collaborative Policing: Countering America's Culture of Violence

America must not become desensitized to the scourge of violence traumatizing communities. Each human life is sacred and deserving of dignity, liberty, and security. America must protect and serve each and every person.

Understanding and implementing collaborative policing is critical to countering America’s culture of violence and securing the nation.

Coast-to-Coast Violence
Below is a partial list of the violence gripping the nation over the last few years. It paints a disturbing picture of the lack of sanctuary anywhere.

June 11, 2014—A Roman Catholic priest is shot to death and another critically wounded in an attack at a Phoenix church. The killer was apprehended and charged with first-degree murder, burglary, and armed robbery, among other charges.

June 8, 2014—Two on-duty Las Vegas police officers are killed in cold blood while sitting in a pizza shop on their lunch break. Another man was also shot to death while trying to stop the carnage. According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, 63 officers have died on the job in 2014—a rise of 40 percent from last year. In Chicago, published reports on the same day (June 8) stated over 30 people were shot over the weekend, four of them fatally.

April 2, 2014—A shooting at Fort Hood leaves four people dead—including the gunman—and 16 others injured.

Feb. 5, 2013—Shirley Chambers, a mother living in Chicago, loses her fourth child to gun violence. Her first was killed in the 1990s and two others were shot to death just months apart in 2000. In a March 9, 2009, publication, 508 Chicago school children were shot from September 2007 to the end of December 2008.

Dec. 14, 2012—A 20-year-old kills 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and 6 adult teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Oct. 12, 2011—Eight people are shot to death at a beauty salon in Seal Beach, a small Southern California town. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Orange County history.

April 4, 2009—While a group of immigrants are taking a citizenship class, in Binghamton, N.Y., a gunman opens fire and kills 13 of them before committing suicide. The police chief stated that these were just people trying to better themselves and become citizens.

Collaborative Policing
In order to respond to America’s culture of violence, properly understanding and implementing collaborative policing—an evolution of community policing widely used especially in the 1990s—is more critical then ever.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) defines community policing as follows:

“Community policing focuses on crime and social disorder through the delivery of police services that includes aspects of traditional law enforcement, as well as prevention, problem-solving, community engagement, and partnerships. … Community policing requires police and citizens to join together as partners in the course of both identifying and effectively addressing these issues.”

Collaborative policing is a much deeper form of community policing, as recently stated by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton during a June 2014 interview with COPS. Bratton stated that collaborative policing is a natural outgrowth of community policing with more of a focus on inclusions, transparency, and bridge building.

Transforming Communities
There are many outstanding and desperately needed community cohesiveness-building programs essential to collaborative policing. They must cultivate leadership, trust, and vigilance within every facet of our communities and include:

•Faith-based partnership building
•Cross-cultural partnership enhancement
•Student educational initiatives at schools and campuses
•Ongoing leadership/ethics certification programs for police personnel
•Citizen/business/interdepartmental/interagency initiatives
•Law enforcement/private security conferences and summits
•Citizen police advisers and subject matter experts
•Neighborhood revitalization initiatives
•Precinct/department certification initiatives
•School, workplace, domestic violence prevention programs
•Gang/terrorism prevention initiatives

America must be reawakened and we must be transformed from our culture of violence. The bonding between the police and the people through the collaborative policing philosophy is a critical first step in the right direction.

Collaborative Policing: Countering America's Culture of Violence was first published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Friday, June 27, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

1. A child pets a NYPD police horse in Times Square during Memorial Day weekend 2011. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. NYPD Commissioner Bratton speaking on collaborative policing to over 150 law enforcement and private security professionals at the ASIS International NYC Chapter Yale Club luncheon on May 22, 2014. ASIS International is a global community of over 38,000 public and private security practitioners. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Over 600 law enforcement and private security professionals attend the NYPD SHIELD conference at One Police Plaza on December 13, 2013. NYPD SHIELD is a program coordinating the efforts of public and private sectors with the goal of protecting NYC from terrorist attacks. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. Over 800 law enforcement and private security professionals attend the ASIS International Annual Security Conference and Expo luncheon at the Jacob Javits Center on March 14, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, June 20, 2014

School Violence Crisis: America, Wake Up

Tragically, as the school year ends, we have once again witnessed a year of violent incidents at schools and campuses nationwide.
American flags continually fly at half-staff. Our culture of violence has no end in sight. Alarmingly, tragedies appear more commonly but outrage within society is diminishing. America must wakeup, take action, and stop the carnage.

A Partial List
Recent and notorious incidents of the rampage paint an unsettling picture:

June 10, 2014—A student is shot to death by another student at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore. After the killing, the shooter commits suicide.

May 24, 2014—Six lives are lost on the University of California–Santa Barbara campus before the shooter commits suicide.

April 9, 2014—A mass stabbing by a 16-year-old student of 21 people takes place at Franklin Regional High School in Pennsylvania. Four victims were left in serious condition.

Dec.13, 2013—A student dies eight days after being shot at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo.

Oct. 21, 2013—A 12-year-old student kills a teacher and shoots two other 12-year-olds before killing himself at Sparks Middle School in Nevada.

Dec. 14, 2012—A 20-year-old kills 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and 6 adult teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

April 16, 2007—The deadliest shooting in U.S. history by a single gunman takes place at Virginia Tech with 32 students killed and at least 17 wounded.

Responding to the Crisis
The crisis demands a comprehensive response with many approaches including the following:

•Properly interpreting the Second Amendment
•Threat assessments
•Mental health
•Security vulnerability assessments
•Crisis planning
•Broken families
•Physical, personnel, and procedural security measures
•Educational, private security, and law enforcement partnerships
•Warning signs

Although I appreciate the importance of all of these approaches and have addressed them accordingly in my work, let us take a moment to focus on warning signs. In my presentations throughout the United States since Columbine in 1999, I have found too many individuals in educational, security, and law enforcement positions detached from warning signs.

At numerous venues, I have held up a copy of “Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools” before large crowds. Many respond that they are unfamiliar with the classic document. This collaborative publication of the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice was released in 1998, before the Columbine High School tragedy in April 1999. It was developed to “provide the practical help needed to keep every child in your school out of harm’s way.”

This document must be required professional development training for all involved with education and school security. It offers research-based practices designed to identify warning signs early and develop prevention, intervention, and crisis response plans related to:

•Social withdrawal
•Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
•Being a victim of violence
•Feelings of being picked on and persecuted
•Low school interest and poor academic performance
•Uncontrolled anger
•Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying
•Expression of violence in writings
•History of discipline problems
•Past history of violent aggressive behavior
•Drug and alcohol use
•Affiliation with gangs
•Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes
•Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms
•Serious threats of violence

I have given thousands of copies of it at assemblies, all at no cost thanks to the aforementioned agencies. The teaching within it is critical because as we continually see with reviewing tragedies, warning signs were ignored and the violence was preventable.

Eyes Wide Open
America must wake up and put the lessons learned from school and campus violence tragedies into action. The reawakening of the nation will only take place when we have eyes wide open to comprehensive security issues and respond to warning signs with full-force resolve and action.

As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" in the Friday, June 20 edition of the Epoch Times.

1.Over 100 educators from the North Arlington Public Schools in New Jersey assemble for a professional development session conducted by Vincent J. Bove prior to the school year on Sept. 3, 2013. All attendees received copies of “Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools.” (Vincent J. Bove)
2.Over 300 educators, law enforcement officials, and community leaders at the Marriott in Teaneck, N.J., on Oct. 22, 2008. Vincent J. Bove delivered the keynote on school violence prevention and presented copies of “Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools” to all attendees. (Vincent J. Bove)
3.Copies of “Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools” are ready for distribution at the North Arlington Public Schools event. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, June 13, 2014

America’s Graduates: Transform the Nation with Character

As graduates from American schools celebrate during this time of year, we congratulate them.

We commend their efforts, perseverance, and success. At the same time we encourage them to step up courageously to this pivotal time in history. They have the power to change the world by living lives of character.

Rising to the Occasion
Society is undergoing extraordinary challenges. America is experiencing an unprecedented head-on collision—a culture of violence and crisis of character.

This current crisis did not happen overnight. It has taken generations for us to arrive at this juncture. It will take generations to transform our nation. America’s youth are critical to this transformation—they are the future of our nation and the world.

Our youth must carry the torch and keep the flame of hope burning bright. They have the responsibility of turning the tide. Their energy, enthusiasm, and generosity will build a better world. The culture of violence and crisis of character may have its day. But in due time, the character of our youth will lift the nation.

Our youth are America’s treasure. Let us encourage them to rise to the occasion—their families, communities, and nation needs them. They deserve our affirmation and guidance to ignite a renewal of character within America and throughout the world.

Be a Person of Character
Although I am privileged to address large assemblies of youth, a recent venue deserves recognition. It represents the great hope we must have in our youth.

On Saturday, March 8, I delivered my signature presentation for college students titled “Be a Person of Character: Change the World” at Monmouth University.

This event celebrated the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society’s induction ceremony. It honored academic excellence, character, and family with over 800 students, family, and friends in attendance.

The 249 new members of the honor society—out of a class of close to 1,000—were inducted. They maintained a 3.5 or higher GPA in their first semester at Monmouth University.

During my keynote, I asked the audience to take a journey with me. A candid picture of societal challenges was painted:
•Our Culture of Violence and Character Crisis
•Social Networking Ramifications
•Broken Families
•The Gang Mentality
•America’s “Get High” Society

We then moved from the challenges to the power of character:
•Achieving Greatness through Sacrifice
•Living a Life of Dignity
•Kindness, Respect, Civility
•Community Building
•Bringing Out the Best in Others
•Helping Others Do What Is Right

As I spoke, families responded with thunderous rounds of applause and three standing ovations. This fervor was directed to the students encouraging them to change the world through their character.

Afterward, Rianna Rae, an inductee and international business major, said, “I think it’s very important to recognize that the world can be a better place and our generation can be the change the world needs.”

Rae continued, “I got chills seeing friends and family of inductees standing and applauding us knowing that they believe we, as inductees, can really make a difference on campus, in the local community, and the world if we so choose.”

The Future Is Bright
At times it can seem that the future is bleak when bombarded by apathy and one crisis after another. But America’s future is bright because of these students and many like them nationwide. These young people, supported by the admiration of their families and friends remind us of the power of community, character, and encouragement.

Although my words implored the students to change the world, the highlight of the day was their enthusiasm, respectfulness, and energy. Our youth give America great hope and I am confident they will heed their call to reawakening the nation.

As published in Vincent's weekly column titled Reawakening the Nation for the Friday, June 13, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

1.Monmouth University Phi Eta Semma National Honor Society officers (L-R), Amanda Kruzynski (president), Alexis DeCarvalho (vice president), Dr. Golam M. Mathbor (faculty adviser) Vincent J. Bove (keynote speaker), Taylor Bernosky (historian), Carolina Carvalho (secretary), and Rebecca Groom (treasurer). (Brian Kutner)
2.Over 800 family, friends, and students at the National Honor Society Induction. (Vincent J. Bove)
3.Monmouth University Phi Eta Semma National Honor Society inductees on March 8, 2014, with keynote speaker Vincent J. Bove. (Courtesy of Dr. Golam M. Mathbor)
4.Student volunteers with complimentary copies of “Listen To Their Cries” for all inductees as sponsored by Monmouth University. (Vincent J. Bove)

Dear Mr. Bove,
On behalf of Phi Eta Sigma, National Freshman Honor, we would like to thank you very much for your eloquent keynote speech to our new honor society members and their guests for a total audience of 800 people. These new members are the finest group of students who maintained a 3.5 or higher GPA in their first semester at Monmouth University during the 2013 fall semester. This year 249 students are inducted as members of this prestigious honor society from a freshman class of close to 1000 students. The theme of your address ‘be a person of character’ is pivotal in maintaining academic excellence in their future career at Monmouth and beyond. I am sure the new members will take advantage of the advice given in your book Listen to their Cries: Calling the Nation to Renewal from Columbine to Virginia Tech.

Golam M. Mathbor, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Advisor, Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Honor Society
Monmouth University Chapter

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Friday, June 06, 2014

Remembering D-Day: Rehabilitating American Character

America, and all dedicated to freedom throughout the world, must reverently pause on Friday, June 6, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. On D-Day, good triumphed over evil and the end of World War II began.

D-Day’s anniversary recalls the Western Allies beginning the Invasion of Normandy to free mainland Europe from Nazi occupation. Despite suffering heavy casualties, the United States and Allied Forces were victorious. America and its allies liberated millions of innocent people being oppressed and murdered by Hitler and the Nazis.

Just prior to the D-Day offensive, the immortal words of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, ignited inspiration:

“Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! … The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you … you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. … The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory! I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!…”

D-Day reminds us of the true meaning of character—individuals who laid down their lives for others and in doing so saved the world.

These heroes must be eternally honored.

D-Day Highlights
•The largest seaborne invasion in history
•13,000 Allied paratroopers flown in from nine British airfields in over 800 planes
•A military armada with over 156,000 troops, 5,000 vessels, and nearly 30,000 vehicles
•More than 11,000 aircraft
•More than 300 planes dropping over 13,000 bombs over coastal Normandy prior to D-Day
•Over 9,000 Allied soldiers dead or wounded by the end of the day of June 6
•The beginning of Europe’s liberation and the end of World War II—the deadliest military conflict in history that resulted in the loss of 60 million–80 million lives

Leadership Lessons for Today
It is not enough to commemorate D-Day by reverently pausing. We must ignite transforming action and rehabilitate the nation.

Here are some timeless leadership lessons of this epic historical event so critical for America today.

Appreciate Industrial Capacity
D-Day gives us appreciation of America’s industrial capacity and can give us the courage to transform it.

According to historian Stephen E. Ambrose, during the D-Day invasion and in the days afterward, American GI’s were better equipped than their foe because our vehicles were superior. Germany could not compete with America’s two-and-a-half-ton truck or the jeep.

American factories were across the ocean from Normandy while German factories were close at hand. Yet, America received more vehicles and better designed ones to the battlefield in less time.

The current General Motors scandal—delaying a recall of defective ignition switches for years, resulting in injuries and deaths—dishonors America. The company was recently fined $35 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation. GM failed the nation because they failed to fix a preventable and inexpensive problem.

Our nation must again represent the highest standards of manufacturing that proudly proclaims “Made in America.”

World Is a Family
The world is a family with each person of every nation deserving of dignity, respect, and protection.

America must forever remain faithful to its legacy of compassion for the vulnerable and oppressed. Whenever there is human suffering at home or abroad, America must respond with moral authority in both word and action.

Character Counters Violence
America must reclaim its communities from the appalling culture of violence.

Headlines of horrific acts of violence continue in schools, campuses, movie theaters, malls, communities, and homes. Violence brings heartbreak nationwide: Camden, Flint, St. Louis, Cleveland, Gary, Bridgeport, Birmingham, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Oakland. Even sacred places of worship once thought to be sanctuaries of peace are experiencing incidents becoming all too common.

America’s character led to the reclaiming of the tranquility for countless millions on distant shores through the heroic events that began on D-Day.

Our nation can and must also bring security to communities throughout our homeland by rehabilitating the character exemplified on D-Day and, in doing so, reawaken the nation.

American troops, supporting those already on the coast of Northern France, plunge into the surf and wade shoreward carrying equipment on Utah Beach, Les Dunes de Madeleine, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944. (STF/AFP/Getty Images)

General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the order of the Day. "Full victory-nothing else" to paratroopers in England, just before they board their airplanes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe." Eisenhower is meeting with US Co. E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (Strike), photo taken at Greenham Common Airfield in England about 8:30 p.m. on June 5, 1944. ID: p013227

American Cemetery and Monument at Normandy.

The Hoboken World War II Memorial on Sinatra Drive in Hoboken commemorates the 159 residents who died in military service during the war. (Vincent J. Bove)

As authored by Vincent J. Bove for his weekly column for the Epoch Times, Friday, June 6,2014 edition.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Veterans Medical Scandal: Reigniting American Altruism

During international travel, one becomes aware of a striking difference between America and many other nations: the pride with which we honor our flag throughout public places.

As one walks the streets of our cities, American flags are proudly displayed everywhere. Our flag is more than fabric—it is our sacred symbol of respect for America. It reminds us of the unity, devotion, and sacrifices made to preserve our freedom.

But with the current veteran’s medical scandal, honoring our flag must be reignited with action for those in need. America must assist our veterans who have honored the flag by serving their country. A nation’s greatness is measured in the manner by which those in need are served. America must have a heart of altruism—serving veterans when the wounds of war, sickness, and age fail them.

Current Veterans Medical Scandal
During the last few weeks, a medical scandal has blistered America’s conscience—and there is no end in site as the crisis continues to unfold. Reports paint a heart-wrenching commentary on the scope of the scandal including:
•Deaths of veterans at VA hospitals nationwide due to treatment delays and the manipulation of patient waiting times—commonly referred to as “cooking the books”
•A secret list at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, used to falsify wait times, which may have contributed to the deaths of as many as 40 veterans
•Email documentation from a Cheyenne, Wyo., veterans facility on “gaming the system a bit”
•A list of patients requiring care being kept on paper at a Gainesville, Fla., VA hospital—not in the VA’s computerized system. Three supervisors were placed on paid leave.
•The American Legion commander’s statement, “a pattern of scandals that has infected the entire system”
•Lawmakers reprimanding VA officials at a hearing stating the scandal is an outrage and American disaster

Veterans Administration: A Troubled History
The recent timeline of VA troubles includes:
•Extreme ethical violations in 1999 by hospital researchers at the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center—with failures for patient consents before conducting research involving them
•A 2003 presidential commission reporting over 236,000 veterans waiting six months or more for medical assistance
•VA officials receiving bonuses up to $33,000 in 2007 despite hundreds of thousands of backlogged cases nationwide
•Squalid conditions at the former Walter Reed Medical Center in 2007—one of America’s so-called premier military medical facilities. The secretary of defense at the time stated, “The problem at Walter Reed appears to be problems of leadership.”
•Indictment of a VA director from Ohio in 2013 for taking bribes to steer contracts to a company

America’s Call to Leadership in a Culture of Scandals
Since the Columbine tragedy in 1999, I have been privileged to address audiences nationwide on America’s leadership crisis.
Although often inspired by exemplary Americans, I have also experienced, in various schools, communities, and agencies, a culture of apathy and antagonism—so contradictory to the ideals of America and the dignity our flag signifies. Contrary to this negativity, I continually encourage altruism—so critical to leadership principles.

The principles of altruistic leadership are critical to America. I define this leadership style as a selfless ethical code that is fully dedicated to the welfare of others. Altruistic leadership is the golden rule in action: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When altruism comes from the heart, it cultivates compassion, respect, and dignity and is powerfully transforming.
When altruism is present, leadership makes an impact, fostering achievements, character, and community.

Altruism—The Heart of America’s Action Plan
Many more details will come forth in the VA scandal. There will be reviews, political maneuvering through committee hearings, terminations, public chastisements, political appointees, and sophisticated action plans. But only when America reignites a culture of authentic altruism as the heart of any action plan will we see authentic transformation and the reawakening of the nation.

As Published in Vincent’s weekly column title Reawakening the Nation for the Epoch Times, Friday, May 30, 2014 edition.

1. American Flags, Rockefeller Center, NYC (Vincent J. Bove)
2. Veteran Jose Gonzalez pauses at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in New York City during the Memorial Day Observation on Monday, May 26, 2014. Gonzalez served in Vietnam 1968–1972. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. American Marines playing during Memorial Day 2011 weekend in Times Square. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. U.S. Oak Hill Sailors Brain Shepard (left) and Travis Snelling (right) receiving a NYC orientation by Vincent J. Bove (center) at Grand Central Terminal during Fleet Week on May 22, 2014.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day: Honoring America's Sacred Sacrifices

“Mom … remember that my leaving was in the service of something that we loved, and that most people can’t comprehend its scope … our sacred honor.”

As we honor Memorial Day, I am compelled to remember the words of Lt. Mark Dooley to his mother in a letter to be opened only after his death. His sentiments symbolize the true meaning of honor—attained by so many Americans—who have given their lives for our nation.

Arlington National Cemetery Interment Ceremony
On July 13, 2007, I was privileged to attend the full military interment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery of Army 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley, 27—killed in Iraq on Sept. 19, 2005. Lt. Dooley’s assignment was in the 2nd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain), 42nd Infantry Division, Vermont Army National Guard.

I was invited to this solemn event by his parents, Marion and Peter Dooley. I met Marion Dooley at a school violence prevention presentation for the Wallkill School District in New York on Nov. 22, 2006. Because I honor American military personnel at each of my presentations, Marion shared with me the story of her son.

Although there are many vignettes that can be used to capture the event, I will never forget the expressive faces of those who honored Mark and the “clip-clop” of horse hooves in soothing cadence as they transported the caisson that carried Mark’s remains. It was the perfect orchestration of nature and emotions during the one-mile procession to Mark’s final resting place—as though even the horses sympathized with the gravity of the interment.

After the interment ceremony, I had the opportunity to speak with Dooley’s parents about his life.

Peter Dooley, Mark’s Father
Peter Dooley served in the U.S. Air Force. He said, “My son Mark was dedicated to the service of his country and to giving the Iraqi people the opportunity to experience the freedom and liberty which we are so privileged to have.

“Mark was an example of the values of our society which need to be resurfaced. Character, honor, truthfulness, family, virtue, service, discipline, and valor were very real to him.”

Marion Dooley, Mark’s Mother
Undoubtedly, the most important reflections shared about Mark come from the heart of his mother:

“Mark had a unique sense of dedication, care, and responsibility toward his family, friends, his military companions, and his country. I remember the sensitivity in which he gave me a sealed envelope prior to his deployment to Iraq and his request that I promise not to open it unless he did not return. As promised, this document was only to be opened after his death. I am confident that sharing it will allow everyone to have the insight into the remarkable person who was my son.”

A Son’s Letter
Below are excerpts from a letter from Lt. Mark H. Dooley, to be opened only if he did not return from deployment:

“Mom, I have no delusions that reading or even hearing this letter read can fill my absence. Please forgive me for not being able to be there; but also remember that my leaving was in the service of something that we loved, and that most people can’t comprehend its scope … our sacred honor …

“Time will ease pain, and the best way to pay respect is to value why a sacrifice was made. Remember time is a gift, use it to enjoy life … continue to live fulfilling happy lives with God’s hands holding you safely. I will see you all in God’s perfect time …”

With Loving Affection and Endearment,

This abbreviated version was originally authored by Vincent J. Bove for The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, September, 2007 edition and titled Sacred Honor: Police Officer, Soldier, Patriot

Also published in Vincent’s weekly Epoch Times column on Friday, May 23, 2014, titled Reawakening the Nation.

Photos-Interment at Arlington National Cemetery (Vincent J. Bove)
Lt. Mark H. Dooley-Profile Photo-Courtesy of his mother, Marion Dooley.

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