Tuesday, September 19, 2017

US Army: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

As detailed on the official U.S. Army website, “the Army, as one of the three military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force) reporting to the Department of Defense, is composed of two distinct and equally important components: the active component and the reserve components. These reserve components are the United States Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.”

The heart of the mission of the U.S. Army is “to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders.”

Captain William D. Swenson: Medal of Honor Recipient

Since the U.S. Army story is one of great magnitude spanning America’s entire history, perhaps the best way to crystalize through a story.

This story is of Captain William D. Swenson, a Medal of Honor recipient. He was inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on Oct. 16, 2016 after serving one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan.

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat and it is bestowed sparingly only to the bravest of the brave.

The complete details of Captain Swenson’s gallantry can be gleaned from the Medal of Honor pages of the U.S. Army website. Yet, these words by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army memorialize Captain Swenson’s valor:

“Captain Swenson embodies the essence of a Soldier and represents what every man and woman who dons this uniform strives to be: an individual who has earned the trust of all with whom they associate; one who possesses a humility and selflessness that we all respect; one who embraces esprit de corps and routinely demonstrates a dedication to his profession that epitomizes the ethos of the American Soldier. In the face of imminent danger, he never quit. He always put his mission first. He never accepted defeat. And above all else, he never left his fallen comrades. Just as he was there for them that day, his friends, his band of brothers are here for him today.”

The story of Captain Swenson epitomizes the heroism of those honoring America through sacrifices. It is essential that this hero, and all have responded to the call of valor are eternally honored.

Honor America’s Fallen

We would be remiss, especially in the shadows of the anniversary of 9/11, to not pause to honor the fallen.

According to the Military Times (MT), the toll of those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraq Freedom, and Operation New Dawn demands our reverence.

Although these statistics may not be totally accurate, they give insight to America’s sacrifices. The most current statistics according to the MT database is 6,897 fatalities, of which 4,980 were members of the U.S. Army.

United States Military Academy: Inspiring Character

The heart of training for commissioned leaders of the U.S. Army takes place at the United States Military Academy (USMA), commonly referred to as West Point.

As detailed in my article titled “West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America”, published in the Apr. 22, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times, the USMA has been “developing, motivating, and inspiring America’s leaders of character for 200 years.”

Although West Point is internationally renowned for its academic, military, patriotic, and fitness programs, the heart of its educational pedagogy is character.

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.”

It has been my honor to be involved with numerous character development initiatives at West Point for the past ten years.
These have included three years as a speaker, mentor, and senior leader for their National Conference on Ethics in America.

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 filled to capacity conference for over 250 law enforcement officials was hosted by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on May 12, 2014.

Every initiative I have been privileged to participate in has always inspired a renewed appreciation for the U.S. Army, and all dedicated to serving in America’s armed forces.

Final Reflections

America is deservingly proclaimed as “the land of the free and home of the brave.”

This proclamation is possible only because of all who honorably serve the nation in the U.S. Army and all our armed forces.

Our nation must eternally honor their sacrifices, dedication, and valor.

These patriots, as exemplified through the mission of the U.S. Army, are the ethical protectors of America’s freedom.

As the gathering storm intensifies with discord among nations, may all people of good will pray and work for peace.

Yet, let us also pray for members of the U.S. Army, and all who serve the nation. These patriots stand ready to exercise America’s sacrosanct right to protect ourselves and all people of moral decency.

In closing, I would like to honor members of my family who served America in the U.S. Army.

These patriots included Joseph M. Rufino (Vietnam War), Mario James Rufino (World War II), Anthony Louis Mirando (Korean War), Felice Bove (World War II), Albert Liquorie (World War II), Michael Liquore (World War II), Joseph Cirrito (World War II), and Biagio Gus Colletti (World War I).

I would also like to recognize three friends who served in the U.S. Army and have been as brothers for a life-time. These men, Thomas A. Cignarella (Korean War), Anthony Damiani, and Daniel X. McCaffrey are the most loyal friends imaginable and as family as any man could ever hope for.

Related Coverage:

Armed Forces: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

Life Lessons From the United States Military

Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

Note Well:

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

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


1. Paratroopers of 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, perform airborne operations at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 24, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Love)

2. President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to former Army Capt. William D. Swenson, citing his extraordinary heroism in the Battle of Ganjgal, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Lisa Ferdinando via U.S. Army website)

3. Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), participate in the graveside service for U.S. Army Sgt. Willie Rowe at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Aug. 8, 2017. Rowe was missing in action, Nov. 25, 1950, after an offensive to push North Koreans to the Yala River in the Ch'ongch'on River region. He was identified by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification laboratory in May 2005. Rowe's remains were repatriated in Section 60 with full military honors. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

4. 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, in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, on April 14, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)

5. 2nd Lt. Ty Roberts from the 35th Infantry Division, helps hand out school supplies and candy to children of the Khalileh Tribe during a community engagement event near the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre, Aug. 18, 2017. The project was a cooperation between U.S. service members in Jordan and the Jordan Armed Forces -- Arab Army aimed at building strong relationships between the armed forces and local community members. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Margaret Ziffer)

6. Joseph M. Rufino, US Army. (Courtesy Margaret Settiducati)

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Neighborhood Policing Illuminates NYPD Mission

It has been my privilege throughout my career to be involved with policing initiatives that forge iron-clad partnerships with the community .

These partnerships, standing on the pillars of trust, respect, ethics, and character, are the heart of public safety in American communities.

These pillars ensure transparency, accountability, and legitimacy for both the police and community members. They must be adhered to by all who privileged to call America home.

Building Police-Community Partnerships

In my article titled Principles of American Policing for the April 28, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, the foundations of contemporary policing were memorialized.

The article highlighted that the first irrefutable principle of policing, inspired by Sir Robert Peel’s timeless nine principles, is that “being pro-police and pro-community is inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent.”

In my opinion, these Principles of American Policing deserve not only reflection, but unwavering commitment to implementing programs, action plans, and certification initiatives for police and community members.

A Police-Community Model

The forging of pro-police and pro-community partnerships must be the framework of American values as it is critical to safeguarding our communities.

A mutual respect for police and community must begin in the family which is the foundation of society. Building respect must also be complemented by efforts in our schools (where a positive police presence is critical) and through all facets of community life.

When respect is the foundation, society benefits through dialogue, trust, and collaboration.

Associations dedicated to pro-police and pro-community ideals are critical to this collaboration. These associations serve as catalyst that deserve active participation.

One such association in New York City, deserves credit as an exemplary model for building police-community unity.

The First Precinct Financial Area Security Council is dedicated to forging law enforcement, private security, military, and community partnerships to safeguard New York City.

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, the council hosted an event that punctuated its dedication through an extraordinary NYPD presentation.

Neighborhood Policing

The guest speaker, Terence A. Monahan, NYPD’s Chief of Patrol, crystalized the benefits of Neighborhood Policing.

First, it is important to understand Chief Monahan’s responsibility as Chief of Patrol, and his bureau’s importance to the Neighborhood Policing program.

The Patrol Services Bureau is the most visible in the NYPD. This bureau, commanded by Chief Monahan, involves 17,000 uniformed NYPD officers in 77 precincts. These officers have a critical role to Neighborhood Policing, which according to Chief Monahan, “is the heartbeat of all of the work not only in the Patrol Bureau but with every member of the police department.”

Chief Monahan stressed that Neighborhood Policing increases police-community connectivity. The program helps city residents to know their cops personally. It allows residents to experience the cop’s humanity, compassion, and character. Yet, it never undermines the cop’s ability to command respect in challenging incidents. The program insures that the officer’s training, confidence, and investigative skills are inseparable from people skills, all of which are necessary for public safety.

Neighborhood policing empowers the cop with conflict resolution, problem-solving, and de-escalation skills. Yet, it also insures that the cop has moral courage, ethical principles, and an unwavering fortitude to protect and serve those entrusted to his care.

In graphic slides, Chief Monahan stressed that Neighborhood Policing is inseparable from the needs of the community. Officers are connected with community members, as supported by effective staff management. This management allows the officer’s rapport with the community, empowers decision making, and makes the officer accountable for reducing crime.

As detailed on the NYPD website, “Neighborhood policing is sufficiently staffed to permit off-radio time for the sector officers, so they are not exclusively assigned to answering calls. The off-radio time is used to engage with neighborhood residents, identify problems, and work toward solutions. Sector officers have 33 percent of their eight-hour tours, or about two hours and 20 minutes each day, devoted to community-based, proactive, and problem-solving activities.”

Neighborhood Policing: Officer Training

The training for officers as presented by Chief Monahan included the following:

Criminal Investigative Course – this enables officers to identify dangers, build a case, and utilize precision policing. The uniformed officers are enabled to develop and foster a working partnership with detectives. This training differentiates Neighborhood Policing from Community Policing as it empowers officers with investigative skills and resources.
Mediation Course – a four day program that empowers officers with listening, social interaction, and conflict resolution skills.
Public Speaking – humanizes officers and gives them the confidence necessary for speaking engagements with the community.

Chief Monahan also stressed the importance of the NYPD Build the Block facet of Neighborhood Policing. Build the Block implements neighborhood safety meetings and strategies between officers and the people. The meetings identifies public safety issues and implements solutions.

NYPD Mission: Illuminating Success

According to the NYPD, their mission is “to enhance the quality of life in New York City by working in partnership with the community to enforce the law, preserve peace, reduce fear, and maintain order. The Department is committed to accomplishing its mission of protecting the lives and property of all citizens of New York City by treating every citizen with compassion, courtesy, professionalism, and respect, while efficiently rendering police services and enforcing the laws impartially, by fighting crime both through deterrence and the relentless pursuit of criminals.”

The success of this mission is illuminated by statistics from the 2017 Neighborhood Policing Commands. These are memorialized on the NYPD website and were cited by Chief Monahan as follows:

• Communities with neighborhood policing commands experienced 30 percent fewer shooting incidents in the first quarter of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016. It is likely that 48 fewer shooting incidents in the area contributed to the 8.5 percent reduction in homicides there.
• For the first quarter of 2017, neighborhood policing commands experienced a reduction in the seven major felony offenses (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of a motor vehicle) when compared to the first quarter of 2016. This means there were approximately 800 fewer major crimes committed in the neighborhood policing commands – and more people in these communities were protected from the pain and disruption caused by violent crime victimization.

Final Reflections

The NYPD deserves praise for its Neighborhood Policing program, an expression of its ethical responsibility to build police-community partnerships.

In a personal chat with Chief Monahan after his presentation, I commended him for his service to the people of New York and his commitment to Neighborhood Policing.

During our chat, he stressed the difference between Neighborhood Policing and Community Policing. Chief Monahan emphasized that Neighborhood Policing empowers officers with comprehensive crime-fighting, criminal investigation, and people skills that strengthen their connection with the community, and makes them personally accountable for reducing crime.

The NYPD with its Neighborhood Policing program is contributing to the Reawakening of the Nation.

The program is reducing crime in New York City, and serves as a model for enhancing pro-police and pro-community partnerships nationwide.

Related Coverage:

NYPD Leaders Exemplify Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect

Precision Policing: Respecting Our Citizens’ Dignity

NYPD Renaissance Cops: Safe and Fair Everywhere

NYPD Mission: Develop 35,000 Ethical Protectors

Note Well:

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

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

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


1. NYPD graduation, July 2, 2015. (Courtesy NYPD)
2. NYPD officers with community merchant. (Courtesy NYPD)
3. Chief Terence A. Monahan during promotion ceremony, One Police Plaza, New York, NY, Oct. 1, 2016. (Courtesy NYPD)
4. NYPD officer with children visiting Times Square, NYC, Aug. 23, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Honoring 9/11: Compassion, Character, Community

As one travels throughout American communities, we are reminded of the tragic loss of life on 9/11 through plaques, monuments, and memorials.

These tributes are set in bronze, marble, and stone throughout our train stations, shopping malls, workplaces, and community centers.

They are sacramental reminders of lives gone too soon, whose memories must be eternally engraved into our hearts and souls.

America will perpetually honor those who perished on 9/11, and we must be passionately dedicated to transforming our nation, as a fitting tribute to their memory.

Eternal Remembrance

America will pause again on Patriot Day, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 to reverently observe the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11.

This sacrosanct anniversary reminds us of a day that changed the soul of America forever.

It is a day to honor the fallen, their loved ones, and all the heroes who served and protected, and who continue to serve our nation.

The lost lives of our beloved families, friends, community members, and colleagues will not be in vain.

These victims from the World Trade Center, Flight 11, Flight 175, Flight 77, Flight 93, and the Pentagon will continue to keep the eternal flame of patriotism alive in our hearts.

America will be stronger and renewed through the fire of devotion burning in our hearts, homes, communities, workplaces, schools, churches, synagogues, and mosques.

In each of these places, America will pray for the repose of the souls of all who were lost on 9/11, and we will stand tall to honor our nation.

As we solemnly honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that fateful day, let us remain vigilant with protecting our communities and strengthening our homeland. Our vigilance is a tribute to all who perished, so their lives may not be in vain.

Honoring 9/11 Heroes

Each 9/11 commemoration is a time to pause and honor countless heroes who protected others and served victims through inestimable acts of selflessness, compassion, and mercy.

These heroes, all who are known by the eyes of heaven, will certainly be rewarded there by their sacrifices, as they represent the heart of America. Those who served on 9/11 and afterwards with acts of kindness, sacrifice, and generosity represent the best of all of us.

Our nation will forever honor all who perished on 9/11, and all who served, as well as those who continue to serve including our military. Those tirelessly dedicated to serving our communities, colleagues, and country deserve our greatest respect.

Honoring the 9/11 fallen, we must dedicate ourselves to peace in communities across America.

Our efforts must be practical with developing violence prevention initiatives especially through enhancing police-community collaboration.

Yet, our efforts must also be profoundly spiritual, worshiping as community, and praying from our hearts.

We must stand above the anguish of hearts broken by violence, and fill our lives with deeds of faith, hope, and charity.

Each person lost on 9/11 was a life gone too soon.

The 9/11 fallen includes over 400 emergency workers who were killed on the day of the attack.

These heroes include the following:

• 343 firefighters (including a chaplain and two paramedics) representing the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)
• 37 police officers of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD)
• 23 police officers of New York City Police Department (NYPD)
• 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics

Although 9/11 changed our mindset with security, one thing will remain forever, our esteem for all who protect and serve, especially those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice in serving others.

One of these first responders was a Franciscan priest, Father Mychal F. Judge, killed by fallen debris while ministering to a fallen firefighter.

Father Judge, from St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in Manhattan, was a chaplain for the FDNY.

A photo of Father Judge, being carried away from the rubble on 9/11 by firefighters, police officers, and first responders, remains one of the tragedies most iconic photos.

Final Reflections

During the solemn remembrances of 9/11 in communities, workplaces, houses of worship, and schools throughout America, let us cling to hope as we honor the fallen.

America must have hope and continue to stand tall as a nation of character, compassion, and courage.

These virtues represent the heart of America, and will lead us to our rightful destiny as a light of goodness for the world.


1. Plaque honoring 9/11 victims from Short Hills, NJ at town's train station, Sept. 11, 2017. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. FDNY honoring the 343 fallen New York City Firefighters during the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 12, 2011. The event commemorated the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, 2011. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. A man standing amid rubble, calling out asking if anyone needs help, following the collapse of the first World Trade Center tower in New York, on Sept. 11, 2011. (Doug Kanter/AFP/Getty Images)

4. Father Mychal Judge - name on Panel S-18 of the National September 11 Memorial’s South Pool, NYC. (Photo Credit: Stephansoner)

Note Well:

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

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

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Best Time To Be a Cop in America

Policing is critical to American society and must perpetually stand on the pillars of ethics, trust, collaboration, and moral courage.

When these principles are honored, police-community unity is forged, and America’s way of life is protected from discord, lawlessness, and turmoil.

Yet, one would be oblivious, irresponsible, and naïve to miss the challenges policing in America is experiencing.

The spotlight on policing illuminates the critical need for trust. Society will thrive when trust is the catalyst for police-community partnerships.

Effective policing in America is mission critical for a harmonious society. Strengthening this noble profession through police-community unity must be a priority for America.

Our country deserves a commitment to police-community collaboration underscored by principles of trust, accountability, and transparency. These qualities are essential not only by law enforcement professionals but by every member of our communities.

Restoring Trust, Building Community

In my article titled America Policing: Restoring Trust, Building Community, for the Oct. 20, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times, I addressed police-community controversies.

In the article, I underscored these issues as a “clarion call to renew, restore, and rejuvenate police-community unity.”

The indisputable reality of negative repercussions of police-community controversies was also addressed.

The article argued that “any breakdown of trust between community and police demands an urgent, unwavering, and complete dedication to remedy the problem.” Building trust and enhancing human contact with respect as its foundation was crystalized as a priority.

Additionally, the article asserted that respect, critical to policing, “must always be complemented by improving use of force standards, enhanced training and certification initiatives, transparency and accountability, and a renaissance of ethical values in policing and throughout all of society.”

Belleville Police Promotion: A Shining Moment

On Thursday, Aug. 31, I had the privilege of attending the Belleville Police Department promotion ceremony at their headquarters in New Jersey.

During the ceremony, a newly promoted captain, Nicholas G. Breiner, represented the ideals of law enforcement. This was expressed in the introduction of his well-decorated career and through his profoundly inspirational remarks.

In short, Captain Breiner’s illustrious career includes over twenty-five years of progressively responsible security, law enforcement, and military accomplishments. He scored first in the state of New Jersey for the captain’s exam prior to his promotion.

Captain Breiner served as the Commander of the Professional Standards & Training Bureau for the Belleville Police. This role led to the Belleville Police Departments accreditation by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) on March 9, 2017. The accreditation involved his service as the subject matter expert on departmental policies and procedures, and working with officers and supervisors to increase the efficiency of their organization.

Aside from law enforcement, he is also serves a member of the military, serving as a Major as well as Director of Operations for the 204th Intelligence Squadron of the New Jersey Air National Guard.

He holds a BA in political science from Rutgers University and a MA in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall University.

Captain Breiner is a graduate of executive education from the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government. He holds numerous certifications including the Accredited Command Executive, and the ASIS International board certifications of Certified Protection Professional, Professional Certified Investigator, and Physical Security Professional.

After honestly addressing contemporary policing challenges of mistrust in communities, Captain Breiner inspired his audience stating that this was the “best time to be a cop in America.”

He first graciously acknowledged family, friends, and guests. Then, he called upon the future leaders of policing to understand the privilege of their profession. He urged them to lead by example, serve selflessly, and build bridges of trust with the people they serve.

His remarks to a standing room only audience, crystalized police professionalism, dignity, and respect. Breiner stressed that this is a time for police officials to let courage, innovation, dedication, and building bridges of trust stand as the hallmarks of their service.

Aside from his promotion, his Belleville colleagues who were promoted were Lieutenant Edward Zimmerman, Lieutenant Joseph Trabucco, and Sergeant Nicholas Kondreck. Since Captain Breiner is always about others rather than himself, their promotions deserve recognition as he would have it.

Final Reflections

These are indisputably challenging times for policing in America. Yet, as masterfully articulated by Captain Breiner, it certainly is the “best time to be a cop in America” because it is time to build trust in our communities.

In conclusion, I would humbly refer readers to my article titled Principles of American Policing, published in the May 1, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times.

The first principle states that “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.”

America will be on the path to reawakening the nation when this principle, so alive at the Belleville Police Department ceremony, also becomes a reality in communities across our nation.

Related Coverage:

Policing Requires Ethical Protectors

The State of Policing in the United States: Issues and Response

21st Century America Requires Police–Community Unity

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 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


1. NYPD Officer assisting Times Square visitor, NYC, Aug. 23, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. L to R: Belleville Police Lieutenant Nicholas G. Breiner (now Captain), NJSACOP Representative Henry Delgado, Belleville Deputy Chief Gerard Corbo, and Belleville Chief Mark Minichini, Mar.9, 2017. (Courtesy Belleville PD)

3. Captain Nicholas G. Breiner speaking to the audience, Belleville Police Department, NJ, Aug. 31, 2017. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. A child speaks with police officers at the Livingston N.J. Police Department National Night Out, Aug. 7, 2013. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: Compassion, Courage, Collaboration

Commendations are in order for all assisting with the unimaginable, relentless, and heart-wrenching devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Their sacrifices are of extraordinary significance to America and to the alleviation of human suffering.

The heart of America is wounded by this catastrophic event. Compassion, moral courage, and collaboration are the principles that must unite us and bring healing to our nation.

America must especially pray for up to 30 individuals, who have been killed so far, due to storm related causes.

Tragically, these fatalities include a family of six, four children and their great-grandparents, who perished while trying to escape flooding. The victims in this heartbreaking family tragedy are Manuel Saldivar, 84, and his wife Belia, 81; Daisy Saldivar, 6; Xavier Saldivar, 8; Dominic Saldivar, 14; and Devy Saldivar, 16.

Aside from these deaths, the suffering inflicted on individuals who have lost their homes, livelihoods, vehicles, and all their personal possessions is distressing.

Individuals entrusted to serve America as first responders and through emergency services truly have a profession of extraordinary significance. These individuals are critical to preventing, diminishing, and responding to human anguish and must be profoundly admired.

One of these responders, Houston Police Sgt. Steve Perez, 60, died while in his patrol vehicle driving to serve his community. He drowned after being trapped by floodwaters.

Sgt. Perez represents the finest of American law enforcement, selflessly placing himself at risk to protect and serve

Responding on the ground to the emergency like Sgt. Perez is one form of service. Yet, recovery from this disaster is a responsibility for all of America and we must all rise to the occasion.

We must all respond to help heal the brokenness inflicted upon our country by this cataclysmic event.

Preliminary Statistics: A Starting Point

The devastation unleashed by Hurricane Harvey is unprecedented, catastrophic, and apocalyptic, and statistics cannot clearly paint the picture inflicted by this cataclysmic event.

Yet, these preliminary statistics give insight, according to our human way of understanding, of the magnitude of this epic storm that has wreaked havoc on America.

According to published reports including information from the Texas Governor’s Office, Houston’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the National Weather Service, and FEMA, preliminary statistics are as follows:

• 11 trillion gallons of rain have deluged Texas.
• 51 inches of rain, the most ever recorded in the United States from such an event, have inundated the state.
• 13 million people were under flood watches or warnings.
• 3,400 water rescues have taken place in Houston, as of Tuesday morning, Aug. 29.
• 450,000 victims will require FEMA assistance.
• 30,000 people will be in need of temporary shelter.
• 215,000 students cannot attend Houston schools, the nation’s 7th largest school district.
• 12,000 National Guard, every member from the state of Texas, have been activated.
• 56,000 calls made to 911 in Houston in one 15 hour period, 48,000 more that the norm for the same time-frame.
• 58 Texas counties have disaster declarations.

While writing this article, the National Weather Service (NWS) posted a chilling notice on its website. The warning stated that “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana from Harvey.”

The NWS also warned of an additional 6-12 inches of rain will be added (3 days after the hurricane hit) to the record setting 51 inches. This additional rain will result in additional devastating flooding and flash floods.

Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned

Although the response to Hurricane Harvey will be a massive and costly undertaking testing the resiliency of the human spirit, the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina are applicable.

Hurricane Katrina, which decimated Louisiana and other communities in the southern United States, took place on Aug. 29, 2005, exactly 12 years ago this week.

Recovery from Katrina was unfortunately hampered by bureaucracy, apathy, and indifference.

In my home, is a hard copy of “The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned,” which I have had since its release in 2006. I have always told audiences during my emergency preparedness presentations, that it is required reading for first responders, and all who wish to understand America’s need for emergency preparedness transformation.

This book, the official report submitted to the White House on Feb. 23, 2006, urged America to develop a visionary culture of preparedness for disasters.

America was beckoned in the report to begin a “truly transformational state of preparedness throughout all levels of our nation. The report demanded a “national dialogue about true national preparedness, especially as it pertains to catastrophic events.”

The report stressed a hope that Katrina would inspire “collective determination, unity of effort, and effective organizational change” to make a “real and lasting improvement to our national preparedness.”

Final Reflections

Hurricane Harvey will test the culture of preparedness urged by lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, especially as outlined in the aforementioned White House report.

The Hurricane Harvey catastrophe will demand a compassion, courage, and collaboration as never before required with any natural disaster on American soil.

Although the most detailed and organized preparedness will not ever be able to fully prevent disasters such as Harvey, we must enhance our emergency preparedness mindset. The principles of emergency preparedness can minimize a disaster's effects, especially as they pertain to human suffering.

As the heart of America dedicates itself to healing the anguish inflicted by Hurricane Harvey, we must rededicate ourselves to enhancing a truly “transformational state of preparedness.”

This catastrophe must also inspire American companies, especially the oil industry, who have made billions in profits in Texas, to rise to the occasion and assist those who are suffering.

We must also be truly honest with ourselves by asking if we have learned the lessons of Hurricane Katrina to prevent and minimize human suffering. With foreseeable disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, was an abundance of caution exercised to prevent destruction and protect the people of this region?

The reality is that additional disasters, both man-made and natural, are forthcoming, and we must take the path of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration to reawaken the heart of the nation.


1. Houston's Sgt. Steve Perez died while trying to go to work and assist with the Harvey recovery effort. (Courtesy Houston Police Department)

2. Irene Fitzgerald exits a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter that rescued her from her home after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf coast with rain causing widespread flooding, in Houston, Texas on Aug. 27, 2017. (REUTERS/Nick Oxford)

3. Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move through flooded Houston streets as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West)

4. The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned (Cover/Public Domain: White House)

5. NOAA published a colorized infrared image of Hurricane Harvey as it approached the Texas coastline. The storm's thick bands of rain are continuing to cause havoc in the Houston area as meteorologists predict as much as 50 inches of rainfall could deluge parts of the area. (Photo Credit: NOAA/NASA)

6. Residents wade through a flooded street in New Orleans, 29 August 2005, after hurricane Katrina made landfall.(James Nielsen/Getty Images)

7. Hurricane Harvey evacuees fill the George R. Brown Convention Center in the aftermath of the Category Four storm. (Photo by Stephanie Fluke / Courtesy of NOAA/NASA)

8. Texas National Guard soldiers aid residents in heavily flooded areas in Houston. (100th MPAD/Texas Military Department/via REUTERS)

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

US Navy: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

As detailed on the United States Navy official website, “the mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and for maintaining freedom of the seas.”

The service of our Navy is critical to peace throughout the world due to the volume of nations living with ocean borders and the commerce conducted on the seas.

The Navy affirms its mission to fulfill a “broad role that encompasses everything from combat to peacekeeping, to humanitarian assistance-in theater, on bases, and everywhere from the cockpits of F-18s to the control rooms of nuclear submarines.”

Principles for the importance of the Navy’s service are detailed as follows:

• Serving as guardian for America’s freedom and defending the life we know.
• Supporting the cause of liberty abroad and promoting peace for all humanity.
• Enabling the safe travel of people and goods to meet the expanding demands of globalization.

This service is not without danger, as witnessed by recent events, and all who serve in our Navy, as with all our armed forces, are always deserving of admiration, respect, and support.

In Memoriam: USS John S. McCain Sailors

The guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collided on Aug. 21 with a merchant vessel while underway east of the Straits of Malacca.

There was significant damage to the hull resulting in flooding to nearby compartments.

Tragically, there were 10 Sailors killed who were identified by the Navy as the following:

• Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Missouri
• Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from Texas
• Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Maryland
• Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Ohio
• Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Maryland
• Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from New York
• Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Connecticut
• Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Texas
• Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Illinois
• Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, Electronics Technician 3rd Class, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey

On Aug. 22, Admiral Scott Swift, commander, Pacific Fleet, stated that some of the missing Sailors bodies were discovered by US Navy and Marine Corps divers performing rescue operations inside the destroyer.

The Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer, stated, “Our thoughts and prayers are with our shipmates aboard USS John S. McCain. The Navy family comes together in times of crisis and I want to thank those who are providing round-the-clock assistance to the affected Sailors and families.”

In Memoriam: USS Fitzgerald Sailors

Another recent Naval tragedy on June 17, also wounding the heart of America, occurred with the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62). The ship was also involved with a collision with a merchant vessel while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

In the June 18 official statement of the Navy, it was confirmed that the bodies of seven Sailors previously reported missing were located.

These Sailors remains were located in flooded berthing compartments. Divers were able to gain access into these spaces after the collision.

America must solemnly pause to honor them, and to offer prayers for them and their loved ones. The names of these Sailors, and all who perished serving America must be eternally honored. The deceased Sailors were as follows:

• Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia
• Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California
• Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut
• Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
• Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California
• Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland
• Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio

USS Indianapolis Wreckage Found

In another recent headline story on Aug. 19, the perils of the sea were once again highlighted. After its sinking on June 30, 1945, the wreck of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was found in the Pacific Ocean.

This Portland-class heavy cruiser was sunk in just 12 minutes, after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine after completing a secret mission delivering components of the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima.

As detailed in a US Navy press release, this was a monumental discovery. The ship, which narrowly missed being attacked at Pearl Harbor since it was out at sea on that fateful day, was lost in more than 18,000 feet of ocean.

After its sinking, about 800 of the ship’s 1,196 Sailors and Marines survived, floating on debris from the decimated ship. But tragically, after four to five days in the ocean-suffering from exposure, dehydration, drowning, and shark attacks-only 316 survived.

In a statement after the discovery of the wreckage, Paul G. Allen, the researcher and philanthropist whose team found the ship stated, "To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role in ending World War II is truly humbling. As Americans, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the crew for their courage, persistence, and sacrifice in the face of horrendous circumstances. While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming."

One of the few remaining living survivors, Edgar Harrell, 92 years-old from Clarksville, Tennessee, offered this response to the finding of the USS Indianapolis:

"We now know the burial place of our shipmates," he said. "It's like the people aren't lost anymore, they're found, and that's a comfort."

Final Reflections

As a boy, the US Navy had a special influence on me. This took place through the stories of my father, a sailor who served on the USS Charles J. Badger (DD-657) from 1953-1954.

His experience as a U.S. Sailor on this Navy destroyer influenced him with a profound spirit of patriotism. It stayed with him throughout his life and translated into a lifetime of respect for America’s flag and for all who serve in our military.

May all who serve in our Navy, be inspirited by their motto, “Non sibi sed patriae.”

May these words, translated as “Not for self but for country,” inspire our appreciation for all who serve, and the reawakening of our nation.

Related Coverage:

Armed Forces: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

America’s Veterans Deserve Honor, Homes, Health Care

Pearl Harbor’s 75th Anniversary: Reawakening America


1. The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) returns to Naval Station Norfolk. George H.W. Bush arrived at Naval Station Norfolk with its carrier strike group following a seven-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jessica L. Dowell/Released)

2. The guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) approaches the Kitty Hawk during a replenishment at sea (RAS). An RAS is the method by which ammunition fuel is transferred from one ship to another while at sea. The technique enables a fleet or naval formation to remain at sea for prolonged periods of time. Kitty Hawk is the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier and operates out of Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photographer Mate 3rd Class Todd Frantom.)

3. USS John McCain Sailors. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

4. The forward-deployed guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) in the Pacific while on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Fitzgerald, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, operates from Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman David Flewellyn)

5. USS Fitzgerald Sailors, from top left to right, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland, Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California, Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia, and Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California. From bottom left to right, Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut, Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas, and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio. (U.S. Navy via AP)

6. Members of the USS Indianapolis crew pose in the well deck, during World War II. Photograph was taken prior to her final overhaul (completed in July 1945), as life rafts are of a different pattern than carried after that overhaul. Photograph was received by the Naval Photographic Science Laboratory on 24 August 1945.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

America’s Warning: Hatred Unleashed in Charlottesville

As detailed in my Nov. 24, 2017 article for the Epoch Times titled “Bigotry, Prejudice, Racism: America’s Toxic Virus,” a virus proliferated by hate is infecting our country.

In the article, I argued that President Abraham Lincoln reflected the dignity of the presidential office. He responded to another virus, infected by the Civil War, through his character, ethics, and leadership.

The article stressed that “these virtues are once again critical for America, as a new virus, propagated by bigotry, prejudice, and racism is now infecting the nation.”

Lincoln’s words and actions must now resonate throughout every generation of those privileged to call America home. His call to “heal the wounds of the nation and restore it” has lessons to be applied to the hate expressed through groups including white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK.

FBI, DHS Warned of Threats

Months before the violence was unleashed on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, resulting in the tragic loss of innocent life and senseless injuries, members of the intelligence community gave warning to an emerging threat.

In a Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) dated May 10, 2017, the JIB provided “insight into the targeting preferences of white supremacist extremists and the state of white supremacist extremism in the United States.”

The JIB report also details that white supremacist extremists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016, more than any other domestic extremist movement.

Firearms were used in most of these lethal incidents, which were typically mass casualty attacks.

The report also punctuates that racial minorities were the primary victims of these attacks.

The perspective of the JIB report stated that white supremacist extremism through lethal violence will continue over the next year.

In my opinion, lethal violence by white supremacists have been emboldened by Charlottesville, and we must prepare ourselves for additional violent eventualities from white supremacists and others motivated by hate.

The lessons we must learn from Charlottesville, especially since other demonstrations empowered by this event are forthcoming, is that America must work collaboratively against hatred to prevent additional violence and division.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C., is America’s official memorial to the Holocaust.

Responding to Charlottesville, the USHMM website expressed sorrow at the senseless loss of life and shared insight on the consequences of hate.

In its Aug. 13 press release, the museum “strongly condemns the violence and neo-Nazi, racist, and antiemetic symbols used by some of the participants, including reported chants of “The Jews will not replace us. Neo-Nazism in any form in antithetical to American values and has no place in American society.”

The USHMM also stressed that Holocaust history teaches that the targeting of Jews, inflamed by hateful speech, was central to Nazi racist ideology.

The rhetoric witnessed in the media coverage of Charlottesville was contemptuous, repugnant, and disgraceful. It also reflects the disturbing realities of Nazi history.

This unleashed hatred must serve as a wake-up call to all who are truly dedicated to America’s honor.

Lessons Learned: Rhetoric Unleashes Violence

In a video on the USHMM site, Holocaust survivor Hane Hirsch Liebmann describes the harassment and anti-Jewish rhetoric that began prior to the Holocaust as follows:

“One of my memories is the boycott of 1933 where our show windows were plastered with “Jew, Jew, DON’T GO TO THE JEW!” And so on and so forth … you were insulted in the street many times. You were called “dirty Jew.” And things like that. For several years I did have Gentile girlfriends and, of course, under the pressure of the Nazi time they could no longer associate with me, and I would not associate with them.”

Dangerous speech was overtly displayed in Charlottesville, and we prepare ourselves to prevent its consequences.

Anti-Defamation League(ADL)Recommends White House Action Plan

The ADL called on the White House to implement a strong plan of action as a response to the white supremacist violence and anti-Semitic and racist incitement witnessed in Charlottesville which includes the following action steps:

• Directing the Department of Justice and the FBI to ensure all law enforcement is trained on how to deal with hate and extremists.
• Tasking the Department of Education to prioritize anti-bias, anti-hate content in schools across America, and reteach the value of pluralism.
• Engaging the Department of Homeland Security to expand the Counter Violent Extremism grant program, which was originally defunded in the budget, and ensure funds are allocated to fight all forms of extremism.

Reflections on the Holocaust

In another of my articles for the Mar. 3, 2017 edition of the Epoch Times titled “Vanquishing Intolerance, Bigotry, Discrimination After Hatred Is Unleashed,” I shared insight from one of my post-graduate degrees, titled “Reflections on the Holocaust.”

The work was an expression of my esteem for the Jewish people. It also reflected my commitment to defend humanity against hatred, bigotry, and discrimination because we are all members of the human family. Each and every human being is mystically connected as a member of humanity.

The dark chapter of the Holocaust must have eternal lessons for humanity. All of us must be completely dedicated to forever vanquishing hatred from the face of the earth.

Hatred has resurfaced in America in Charlottesville, as well as with a lack of tolerance in society toward anyone who is different.

America must stand against all who violate the principles of our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and every noble principle of humanity.

The character of the good people of America will rise to the occasion. We will overcome hatred and be reawakened because tolerance, respect, and charity are the heartbeat that unites America.

Final Reflections

After Charlottesville, patriotic Americans were profoundly impressed by the moral courage of United States Military leadership who spoke out against racism, bigotry, and hatred.

Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – senior uniformed leaders of our Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and National Guard – all denounced far-right extremists.

Their courage reminded me of the Liberation Monument in Liberty State Park, Jersey City. This monument, the symbol of my work, is the focal point at the end of each of my presentations.

Designed by Sculptor Natan Rappaport, this inspirational masterpiece depicts a World War II American soldier carrying a Jewish survivor from a Nazi Concentration Camp.

The monument expresses the compassion, character, and courage that depicts the heart of America’s military, and all truly dedicated to American values.

It is a reminder that courageous Americans in our military have and continue to make sacrifices to honor our values.

Each of us must unite ourselves with them to reawaken the nation through lives of character. This character is expressed through moral courage that stands firmly against every expression of hatred, bigotry, and discrimination.

Related Coverage:

America’s Mission: Eradicating Discrimination, Prejudice, Racism

The Personality of American Leadership

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


1. Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner (Public Domain)
2. "Liberation," a bronze Holocaust memorial by the sculptor Natan Rappaport, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ. (Ken Lund/Flickr, CC BY-SA)

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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Social Media Spectator Trend: Callous, Contemptuous, Culpable

Among presentations nationwide on issues critical to America throughout my career, there are programs conducted for students, as well as for educators, that I consider critical to reawakening the nation.

Empowering Students with Character

In my signature presentation for students titled “Be a Person of Character: Change the World,” students are empowered to exemplify lives of character.

The students are motivated to understand their ability to change the world through lives of moral decency.

This presentation honestly assesses contemporary issues that illuminate a crisis of character in head-on collision with a culture of violence.

The program also presents, through graphic images, the tragic consequences of abusing social media.

This abuse is not only dysfunctional, detrimental, and destructive but also dehumanizing. It also indicates an undercurrent within society that is callous, contemptuous, and culpable, especially when pain and suffering is inflicted upon the innocent. The heinous crimes committed against them, with livestreaming, is an alarming commentary on the callousness within society.

Students are pensive during these presentations designed to realignment of our moral compass. The consequences of abusing on-line privileges to influence suicides by cyberbullying are detailed. Other consequences of on-line abuse include emotional torture that leads to depression through cruel texting, and guilty verdicts for transmissions of crimes.

In one incident, a Canadian teen, Rehtaeh Parson, committed suicide after alleged rape and bullying. Rahtaeh was bullied for more than one year after her alleged rape, with authorities confirming a photograph, allegedly showing her sexual assault, circulated via mobile phones and computers.

In another incident, Audrie Pott committed suicide 8 days after attackers involved with her sexual assault, posted photos of the crime on-line while she was unconscious. All the attackers were arrested for sexual battery.

In still another senseless crime, a “text rage” led to the brutal beating and hospitalization of Josie Lou Ratley in Broward County, Florida.

Empowering Educators to Inspire Character

In my presentations for educators titled “Transforming American Schools: Inspiring Character,” I encourage them to inspire character in the lives of their students. During the program, I argue that inspiring character is only possible when the lives of educators reflect a true concern for their students. Students must see character exemplified in the lives of educators, and the students must know that they are truly cared for.

Educators are empowered to inspire students, animate character, and transform the nation through America’s schools.

In another presentation titled “Principles of Visionary Leadership for Educators: Responding to the Crisis of Character,” the issues of on-line abuse are addressed.

These presentations are designed to transform the nation by reigniting character into the hearts of the entire educational community.

Bystander Effect: Disturbing Incidents

There is a social phenomenon known as the bystander effect that is memorializing tragic on-line incidents.

This phenomenon is a contradiction to moral courage, expressed through incidents where individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present.

There is a toxic emotional contagion of apathy, indifference, and insensitivity with this phenomenon.

Yet, the acts of omission to take action against these cruelties, are in my opinion, a deficiency of character, moral decency, and courage.

In a March incident highlighting this cowardice, police in Chicago expressed outrage at five to six men sexually assaulting a 15-year-old and live-streaming it on Facebook live.

The streaming was viewed by dozens of people, but reprehensibly, no one called authorities.

In February, an Ohio woman was sentenced to nine months in prison for pleading guilty to obstructing justice. She was involved with livestreaming a 29-year-old man raping a 17-year-old girl.

In still another incident, four young men in Chicago were charged for another Facebook live incident. This involved the alleged torture and beating of a teen with mental health challenges.

Final Reflections

America will only be on the path of an ethical renaissance when our moral compass, with character as its focal point, is reawakened.

As specified on the United States Department of Education website, “Character education is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others. Upon such core values, we form the attitudes and actions that are the hallmark of safe, healthy and informed communities that serve as the foundation of our society.”

Hopefully, we will put this statement into action throughout America and understand the words of Cicero whose timeless words from over 2,000 years ago remain, “Within the character of the citizen lies the welfare of the nation.”

Related Coverage:

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

America’s 21st Century Teacher: Security, Character, Pedagogy

America’s Graduates: Transform the Nation With Character

School Bullying: A Matter of Life and Death

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

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


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), March 8, 2014. (Courtesy Brian Kutner)

2. Educators from the North Arlington Public Schools, New Jersey, awaiting Vincent J. Bove training program titled "Transforming Our Schools: The Heart and Brick of School Security," Jan. 6, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

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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 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.

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Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


1. Father (Major) Edward J. Waters, Catholic Chaplain from Oswego, New York, conducts Divine Services on a pier for members of the first assault troops thrown against Hitler’s forces on the continent. Weymouth, England., 06/06/1944 (U.S. National Archives)
2. General Dwight D. Eisenhower visits with paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division just hours before their jump into German-occupied France. June 5, 1944.— National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.

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