Tuesday, August 23, 2016

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

The 2016-2017 school year has begun and America must focus on security, character education, and academic achievements in our educational communities.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates 50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools.

About 3.1 million full time teachers will be employed in nearly 98,500 schools in our public school system.

There will be an additional 20.2 million students in the nation’s colleges and universities and an additional 4.9 million attending private schools.

The American educational system is critical to the future of the nation, as memorialized in my published works and presentations nationwide over the last 20 years.

Our educators, students, families, and community leaders must be dedicated to making each district, campus, classroom, and student a priority for security, character development, and academic initiatives.

America's educational system is the heart and soul of the nation’s future and every effort must be made to insure success.

School Security: An Indisputable Priority

The tragic headlines on school violence during the last 20 years, must motivate unwavering dedication to enhance security in every educational community.

A critical element of school security is security vulnerability assessments, training initiatives, and protocols at all schools.

Training for all personnel, students, and families must include warning signs. This is mandatory since we have continually witnessed school and campus tragedies where warning signs were recognized but ignored.

One essential document for training is “Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools” by the U. S. Department of Education.

This classic, masterfully developed document, includes intervention for student warning signs including the following:

• Social withdrawal
• Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
• Being a victim of violence
• Feelings of being picked on and persecuted
• Low school interest/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

Other important elements for school security include board certified security directors, bullying prevention programs, crisis management teams, and training that encompasses the document titled “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities.”

This timeless document, from the U.S. Department of Education provides information on preparing for a crisis, and details on the principles of crisis management: mitigation and prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Character Education

Developing students with hearts of character built on the pillars of honesty, respect, civility, and patriotism must be paramount throughout America’s educational communities.

We are continually witnessing scandals and violations of character throughout every element of American society.

These include corruption at the highest levels of government, corporate greed, faith-based scandals, and character deficiencies within professional sports and Olympic athletes.

America’s youth deserve inspiration from our educators, as they must carry the torch of character and cultivate a renaissance of ethical behavior.

A reality of our educational system is that millions of students spend exorbitant time hearing lectures, writing papers, memorizing facts, and pushing themselves with extracurricular activities. This would be a tragic waste of time if instilling character is not the heartbeat of the educational community.

Our educators, through the power of good example, kindness, concern, respect, affirmation, and encouragement, must inspire character into the heart of America through our schools.

Character and Academics: Inseparable Principles

Although character is essential to the welfare of our educational communities, and the future of the nation, academic achievement is also a priority.

When an educator inspires character, the foundation is set for academic excellence since students are inspired to responsible, loyal, and industrious .

As detailed in my article titled “America’s 21st Century Teacher: Security, Character, Pedagogy” for the August 28, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, I argued that the preventive educational system is transformational.

The preventive system, as opposed to a rigid, negative, and dictatorial repressive system of education, has the capability to transform a student, school, or campus; and in time, the very heart of America.

The advantages of this educational pedagogy is that character is inspired, warning signs receive measured intervention, and academic achievement is encouraged.

Final Reflections

As schools open throughout America for another school year, we must be fully dedicated to security principles, character education, and academic excellence.

When our educators are vigilant with security concerns, inspire character through personal example, and encourage academic excellence, we will be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage:

School Violence Crisis: America, Wake Up

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

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

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Students with teacher at Vincent Bove character education presentation, Union City Public Schools, NJ, Feb. 27, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. North Arlington Public Schools professional development program on security, character education, and academics, conducted by Vincent J. Bove, N. Arlington, NJ, Sept. 3, 2013. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. Students attend "Be a Person of Character: Change the World" presentation as hosted by the Rebecca Verea Foundation, Cliffside Park, NJ, Oct. 15, 2014. (Courtesy Vincent J. Bove Publishing)

4. Union City Public Schools, NJ students attend Vincent Bove presentation, ""Be a Person of Character: Change the World," May 29, 2008. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Precision Policing: Respecting Our Citizens' Dignity

Prior to his forthcoming retirement from the NYPD, Commissioner Bill Bratton deserves a commendation for enhancing community policing.

This enhancement includes improved training for officers, better patrol strategies emphasizing a positive interaction with the public, and sharpening officer’s problem-solving skills.

Bratton recently memorialized his philosophy with these words, “We want to develop well-rounded, highly skilled police officers, not arrest machines.”

The NYPD commissioner also emphasizes the positive results of “precision policing,” a contradiction to the stop, question, and frisk controversy.

The heart of the stop, question, and frisk controversy, according to Bratton, was a period of 700,000 stops with an arrest rate less than one-in-ten.

Police, according to Bratton, became imprecise with exercising their powers with stop, question, and frisk, and cast a net that was too wide.

Policing Principles: Peel’s, America’s

On May 23, 2016, Bratton stressed the principles of policing by Sir Robert Peel, to the New York City Council Public Safety and Finance Committee.

Peel’s policing principles, are completed by my “Principles of American Policing,” authored for the May 1, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times.

The timeless principles of Peel are the foundation for these contemporary American policing principles, highlighting police-community collaboration; built on trust, training, ethics, and leadership.

Department of Justice Report: Baltimore Police

The “precision policing” improvements being made with the NYPD provides lessons for police departments nationwide.

On August 10, 2016 the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its report titled “Investigation of the Baltimore Police Department.”

The DOJ report concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law.

The pattern or practice includes:

1. making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests
2. using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans
3. using excessive force
4. retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression.

The DOJ report also identifies concerns regarding the BPD’s transport of individuals and investigation of sexual assaults. BPD’s failings result from deficiencies with policies, training, oversight, accountability, and policing strategies that do not engage effectively with the community the Department serves.

This report also details systemic violations of constitutional policing with the BPD routinely stopping, searching, and even arresting the city’s black residents without provocation. These practices destroy trust, critical to the bond between the police and the people.

One example in this scathing report on the BPD clearly highlights systemic deficiencies. In a recent four year period, roughly 44 percent of 111,500 police stops occurred in two small predominately African-American communities that account for about 11 percent of the city’s population.

But these stops are diametrically opposed to the philosophy of “precision policing” as only 3.7 percent of these stops led to a citation or arrest.

Another example in the report on the BPD details that interviews of police involved with shootings tend to be “conclusory and superficial, often lasting no longer than ten or fifteen minutes, with some ending after only five minutes.”

Also, the report punctuates incompetence, unprofessionalism, and despicable interview tactics of BPD detectives handling women reporting sexual abuse. They respond to the victims with questions such as “Why are you messing that guy’s life up?”

NYPD: The Five T’s

The pillars of the NYPD “precision policing” philosophy fully complements the policing principles of Sir Robert Peel as well as the “Principles of American Policing.”

These five T’s are cited on the NYPD website as trust, training, technology, taking on terror, and tackling crime, which are understood as follows:

Trust – focusing on collaborative policing which involves partnering with other city agencies, non-profits, community-based organizations, the faith-based community, and others on public safety issues.

Training – includes numerous educational initiatives to develop a more service-oriented mindset and give officers tactical tools to deescalate tense situations.

Technology – igniting a major transformative technological change to make the NYPD the most advanced in the United States.

Terrorism – includes the Strategic Response Group (SRG), comprised of over 800 personnel with missions including disorder response, crime suppression, and mobilizations.

Tackling Crime – last year alone, NYPD Field Intelligence took 998 guns off the streets by debriefing arrestees and obtaining court-approved search warrants.

Final Reflections

As witnessed with controversies, tensions, and problems throughout America, there is a clarion call to enhance police-community relations.

America must rise to the occasion and ignite a 21st Century Policing mindset that is built on the pillars of trust, ethics, transparency, and accountability.

When our nation dedicates itself to enhancing police-community partnerships, inspired by the qualities of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration, we will be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage

The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian


Ethical Guardians: Repudiating the Ferguson Effect

Policing Demands Ethical Sentinels

Police-Community Crisis: Rise to the Occasion

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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. NYPD graduates, July 2, 2015. (Courtesy NYPD)
2. NYPD officer assists Times Square visitor. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. The Chief of Police magazine, "Principles of American Policing," cover story authored by Vincent J. Bove.


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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Olympics: Character, Courage, Competition

The Olympic games is the stage for the world’s greatest athletes to courageously perform at the most intense level of competition.

Currently, thousands of athletes from across the globe are competing in the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

This year, the Olympics will also allow athletes to compete as Independent Athletes under the Olympic Flag due to various reasons, including the European migrant crisis.

Previously, these athletes were ineligible for competition due to their inability to represent their countries.

There is an ethical code required for all Olympic athletes and those involved with them, demanding that all participate with character, sportsmanship, and honesty.

Sports: A Call for Character

From the time that I was a young boy in the Bronx, sports have always been a part of my life. I played Little League Baseball, stickball, basketball in the public school yards, ran cross country track for Mount Saint Michael High School, golfed at Van Cortland and Moshulu golf courses, and wrestled for John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

During my years as an educator, I was privileged to coach a state championship soccer team and also serve as a lifeguard, swimming coach, and lifeguard instructor.

One of my greatest thrills was coaching my son’s little league baseball team for 7 years. The years of coaching his team provided some of my fondest memories.

The importance of sports in the development of the child makes the crisis of character in professional sports even more reprehensible. Like it or not, athletes are role models for our youth and must strive to be examples of character.

Major League Baseball: Lessons for Athletes

The Major League Baseball (MLB) scandal has lessons for the Olympics, and for all who enjoy sports.

Since baseball has always been my favorite sport, I would like to use lessons from it for all athletes.

As a child, love for the game was expressed through card collecting, knowing the lineup of one’s favorite team by heart, and articulating it with each batter at every whiffle ball, stickball, or Little League Game.

Baseball became significantly serious to me after the tragic death of Yankee catcher Thurman Munson.

Soon thereafter, I found myself involved with MLB on a much more profound level as a confidant to the New York Yankee baseball players, and to many players throughout the league.

During one summer in particular, I was working at a camp at St. Thomas the Apostle Church on 118th Street in Harlem as a youth counselor. In the evening, I took the subway to Yankee Stadium to work with the players as well as to collaborate on my first book, “On the Eighth Day God Created the Yankees.”

The experience with inner city kids during the day and with the great names of baseball in the evening, gave me an unforgettable perspective, as
I was working with the very poor and the very rich all in the course of the same day.

The lesson from this experience remains with me to this day: money does not define the person. It is character – a good heart, appreciating life, fostering good will toward others – that is important in life.

Yankee pinstripes did not determine a person’s greatness, but the stripes of thoughtfulness, respect, civility, truthfulness, kindness, and charity toward others. This is what is important in the game of life. Many Yankees learned that lesson in the summer of 1979 after the death of their beloved captain.

Because of this unique experience, I was particularly disappointed with the MLB steroid scandal. Weak steroid policies were destructive to the integrity of the game and too many officials ignored the crisis until public outcry forced their hand.

The House Government Reform Committee held a Congressional hearing on March 17, 2005 entitled “Restoring Faith in America’s Pastime: Evaluating MLB’s Efforts to Eradicate Steroid Use” to highlight the Major League Baseball steroid scandal.

I remember listening to the testimony of some of the great contemporary players and thinking that it was an embarrassment to the national pastime. The testimonies lacked veracity and they served as a warning sign depicting so clearly the lack of character in many professional athletes.

These players were given so much by the great game of baseball and they could not stand at the plate with the uniform of character at this congressional hearing. They could have shined so brightly before the nation by courageously speaking the truth.

It was particularly ironic to me that two of the players called to share testimony, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, were highly instrumental in restoring MLB’s popularity when they battled for the home run crown in 1998 while chasing Roger Maris’ record of 61 homers in a season.

McGwire, who hit 70 home runs during that record breaking season, refused to answer questions on whether he took steroids. If only McGwire understood that truthfulness and integrity would have a greater impact on the nation than his home run record.

MLB and American society must learn that the power of truth travels much deeper into the character of the nation than any home run ball into the upper-deck of any stadium. The destructiveness of a lie will live longer than Bobby Thompson’s shot heard round the world and the ramifications of the truth will remain radiant longer than the shine on any World Series ring.

Aside from MLB, the brilliance of character will also shine much brighter than any Olympic gold medal.

Sooner or later, each and every one of us, regardless of our state in life, will be have the opportunity to allow character to shine brightly in our lives.

Final Reflections

As we enjoy the competition of the XXXI Olympiad, we are reminded that character at the games, in all sports, and particularly with our youth programs, must always be emphasized.

America, and all the nations of the world, will be on the path to reawakening our societies, when character is paramount in athletic competition, and with all the responsibilities of civic life.

Related Coverage:

America’s Critical Ethical Issues Demand Resolution

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

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


America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photo:

1. Vincent J. Bove with Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent prior to game on April 19, 1982. Dent ws MLB All-Star and 1978 World Series MVP. (Photo Courtesy of Vincent J. Bove Publishing/Credit Nick Ciranni)

2. Hackensack Little League 1998 team coached by author Vincent J. Bove (top row on right). The author’s son Austin is on the bottom right. (Courtesy of Vincent J. Bove Publishing)

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

According to the United States Army, the term Gold Star Family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag, first flown by families during World War I.

This flag included a blue star for all immediate family members with loved ones serving in the armed forces during any period of war, or hostilities.

In the event a loved one perished, this blue star was replaced by a gold star. This was a testimonial to the community that this family had lost a loved one to the cause of freedom with the ultimate sacrifice.

On the last Sunday in September 1936, America began observing Gold Star Mother’s Day. Before the end of World War II, Gold Star Wives was formed. In August 1947, the Gold Star lapel button was established, a sacred symbol of the losing of a loved one who died serving America.

Gold Star Families: America’s Treasure

Today, whenever a father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter, or any loved one dies serving our country, they are recognized as a Gold Star Family member.

This is a solemn tribute of the highest order recognizing those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice and their families. These sacrifices are the most profound expression of American patriotism.

The sacrifice of all who lost heroes, deserves America’s most heartfelt respect, dignity, and gratitude. All who have died serving our nation, as well as their grieving families, must always be honored without compromise.

Gold Star Mothers: Bedrock of America’s Courage

Brenda Cox of Killeen, Texas is one of America’s bedrocks of courage, who became a Gold Star Mother.

She was presented with the Gold Star lapel button after the loss of her beloved son, Pfc. Richard Allen Dewater.

Army Pfc. Dewater was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He died of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device while on a dismounted patrol near Korengal Valley, Kunar, Afghanistan.

The words of his mother Brenda immortalize the sentiments of any broken-hearted parent who has lost a child, “It’s supposed to be your children burying you, not the other way around.”

Brenda has used her tragedy for healing hearts of other Gold Star Mothers through Survivor Outreach Services.

“I have friends who know that I am a Gold Star Mother. When a friend loses a child, they reach out to me for comfort and support,” Brenda said.

This comfort and support, complimented by dignity, respect, gratitude, and honor must be the cardinal virtues not only of Gold Star Mother’s and Gold Star Families, but all privileged to call America their home.

America is the land of freedom, liberty, and opportunity only because of the sacrifices of all who have served, especially with the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifices of their families are inseparable from the sacrifices of our fallen military heroes.

We can only truly honor America when our fallen heroes and their families are treated the most profound respect. This respect must come from the heartbeat of the nation and expressed not only in words but in actions.

Arlington National Cemetery Retrospective

After every one of my presentations throughout the United States over the last 20 years, I have always honored the fallen military personnel and their families with a photo tribute.

This tribute has included one of my personal experiences at the full military internment ceremony of First Lt. Mark Howard Dooley on Friday, July 13, 2007.

Lt. Mark H. Dooley, 27, was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2005. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry (Mountain) 42nd Infantry Division of the Army National Guard in Jericho, Vermont.

I was invited to this sacred event by his Gold Star Parents, Marion and Peter Dooley.

I met Marion at one of my school violence prevention professional development programs for the Wallkill School District in New York on November 22, 2006.

Marion was grateful for my tribute to America’s military at the end of my presentation, and invited me to the internment of her son Mark. Her request pierced my heart and there would be nothing that would stop me from traveling to Arlington for his internment.

The memory of 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley deserved my presence and it was my privilege to honor his Gold Star Parents.

Final Reflections

After the interment ceremony of Lt. Dooley, I attended a meal hosted by his family and met many of his loved ones, friends, and military colleagues.

They shared moving stories of the generosity, kindness, respect, and patriotism of Lt. Dooley.

Undoubtedly, the most important reflections were shared by Marion, his Gold Star Mother, who told me her son Mark was always concerned about others. Marion said, “Mark had a unique sense of dedication, care, and responsibility toward his family, friends, military companions, and his country.”

America must always honor the fallen as their sacrifices, inseparable with those of all Gold Star Families, are the pillars of our freedom, liberty, and our cherished way of life.

In honoring those who make the ultimate sacrifice, may America have these verses from “America the Beautiful” forever seared into our souls:

“O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!”

Related Coverage:

Memorial Day: Honor the Fallen, Widows, Orphans

Memorial Day: Honoring America’s Sacred Sacrifices

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

Life Lessons From the United States Military

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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Marion W. Dooley (L) and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret.) Peter C. Dooley (C) attend the funeral for their son, Army 1st Lt. Mark Harold Dooley, at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va., on July 13, 2007. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

2. U.S. Army Gold Star. (Photo Credit U.S. Army)

3. Interment Ceremony of 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley at his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery on July 13, 2007. Seated in the front row are (L–R) Peter Dooley and Marion Dooley (Mark’s parents) and Peter Dooley Jr., Mark’s brother. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. Internment procession of 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley, Arlington National Cemetery, July 13, 2007. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Terrorism Demands Police-Community Unity

As a member of NYPD SHIELD, a counterterrorism program of the New York City Police Department, I am privileged to attend conferences and receive alerts on terrorism incidents and prevention.

This notable public-private partnership is based on providing best practices, lessons learned, counterterrorism training opportunities, and information sharing.

Participation in this program is a reminder of the changing realities of terror, and to work together to prevent incidents. It is critical that other law enforcement agencies nationwide, in partnership with private security professionals, and the community implement comparable programs.

Terrorism is a reality of our times, and we must enhance our vigilance, leadership, and unity of effort to protect our homeland.

France Attack: NYPD SHIELD Alert

On the morning of July 26, I received an email alert from NYPD SHIELD on another terror attack in France.

Unfortunately, these attacks have increased in frequency due to the accelerating terrorism climate not only in France, but internationally, and on American soil as well.

In this most recent alert, NYPD SHIELD provided a link to open source media about this attack at a Roman Catholic Church in Normandy. In this attack, a priest was cowardly assassinated and numerous hostages taken.

The French President, Francois Hollande stated that this attack was committed in the name of ISIS.

Any murder violates the most sacred principle of humanity and is a desecration of every religion. But this killing in a sacred place, where people come for sanctuary and pray for forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, and divine assistance is horrific beyond words.

Terrorism Accelerating Internationally

These are only some of the deadly terror attacks that have taken place internationally and remind us that the world can be a dangerous place:

July 27, 2016: At least 44 people are killed and 150 injured after a truck bomb was detonated in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishi, Syria. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

July 24: An individual who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, detonated a bomb at a bar in Ansbach, Germany killing himself and wounding 15 people.

July 23: Two suicide bombers killed over 80 people and wounded 230 at a rally in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

July 15: A truck rams through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France, during a celebration of the French National Holiday. At least 84 are killed including many children, and numerous other injured, many in critical condition.

July 3: At least 325 are killed and over 200 wounded in coordinated bomb attacks, one in a busy market, in Baghdad, Iraq.

June 28: At least 31 people are killed at Aratuck International Airport in Turkey by three suicide bombers who detonated explosives.

March 22: At least 31 people are killed and 150 wounded in explosions at the Brussels Airport and a downtown shop.

November 13, 2015: 130 people are killed and hundreds wounded in a series of attacks by terrorists at a rock concert, cafes, and a stadium in Paris.

Terror Attacks on American Soil

As terrorism accelerates internationally, the incidents intensifying on American soil must enhance our vigilance and security.

These incidents include the following:

July 17, 2016: Three Baton Rouge police officers are killed and three injured in a cowardly ambush, only days after five police are assassinated in Texas.

July 7: Five police officers are shot dead by a sniper and nine others are wounded at a peaceful protest rally in Dallas.

December 3, 2015: Two attackers killed 14 and wound 21 at a country employee Christmas party in San Bernardino, California.

July 16: a gunman kills four Marines and a sailor, and also wounds a police officer in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

June 12: A neo-Nazi kills nine at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) during a Bible study group in Charleston, South Carolina.

April 15, 2013: Two bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line kill three, including a child, and injure 183.

Terrorism Warnings

Before 911, there were warnings that terrorists were considering using planes as weapons. These included flying them into the Eiffel Tower in 1994, into CIA headquarters in 1995, and into the White House in 1996.

The attack this week at a Catholic Church in France, as well as the attack of the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina are warnings.

There was also a massacre on Aug. 5, 2012 at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin by a white supremacist. At least six people were killed, others wounded, and members of the community terrorized.

These tragedies remind us that there is no place sacrosanct in the mind of a terrorist. There are individuals without conscience, who will take the most vulnerable innocent life and desecrate any sacred place.

These incidents, along with attacks taking place throughout the globe, must motivate us to enhance our vigilance and security countermeasures everywhere, including houses of worship.

Horrific attacks against houses of worship and religious representatives, are also a sobering reminder that terrorists seek not only death and casualties, but trophies that glorify their demented ideologies.

Final Reflections

Currently, America is experiencing tensions, controversies, and problems with police-community relations.

It is critical that we enhance police-community trust through communication, programs, transparency, and accountability. This will enable
America to be postured to protect our communities and our homeland.

Terrorism is accelerating and the next incident can take place anywhere, anytime, and by any means.

America must stand united and enhance our police-community partnerships. This cohesiveness must be built on the pillars of respect, courtesy, character, and patriotism that honors our democratic principles, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

America must unite to protect our communities, houses of worship, and our homeland, as to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Related Coverage:

Terrorism Attacks Demand America’s Leadership

Sanctuary Profaned: Protecting America’s Houses of Worship

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets

Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America


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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos:

1. The Chief of Police, Spring 2015 featuring cover story by Vincent J. Bove titled "Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America."

2. NYPD, Veterans Day, Fifth Avenue, NYC, Nov. 1, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. NYPD, Macy's Herald Square, NYC, Nov. 21, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fallen Officers Demands America’s Reawakening

The diabolical brutality raged against our police pierces the hearts of loved ones, communities, the law enforcement family, and the very heart of America.

This senseless, unending anguish violates America’s security and rips the cohesiveness of police-community relations, critical to the preservation of society.

The alarming killings of police throughout the country is like one not experienced in decades. It is not just the horrific recent killings of police in Dallas or Baton Rouge. Police are being killed nationwide and the appalling reality is that things might get worse before they get better.

These tragedies are a sad commentary about the brokenness of American society since without collaboration between the police and the people, a society cannot endure.

America must be reawakened and build ethical bridges of respect, dignity, and decency within every facet of society, especially between the police and the people.

These bridges must be built in our schools, campuses, workplaces, families, and communities.

Honoring Fallen Baton Rouge Officers

America was shaken to its core when five police officers were senselessly killed and nine wounded in Dallas on July 7.

The somber memorials and funerals were witnessed not only by America but by countries around the globe, bearing testimony to this reprehensible violence against law enforcement.

Compounding this heart-wrenching loss of heroes gone too soon, was the additional unspeakable killings of three additional officers, and three wounded only ten days later in Baton Rouge.

These officers, representing the best in all of us, were killed responding to protect their community to a call about a suspicious person with an assault rifle.

It is a dangerous time to be a police officer in America. This is manifested unceasingly with violence in our schools, campuses, workplaces, homes, and communities. The violence is also inflicted upon our society’s ethical guardians who have sworn to protect us.

America must respond with full force commitment to resolve the crisis. The lives of the most recently fallen officers, along with all who have died protecting and serving America, must not be in vain.

Corporal Montrell L. Jackson – was a 10-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department. He was a proud new father since he and his wife had just celebrated the birth of a baby just two months ago.

The morning after five police officers were killed in Dallas, Corporal Jackson memorialized his sentiments on Facebook.

“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat.”

Corporal Jackson added foreboding words applicable not only to his city but to America:

"Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city must and will get better.”

Just nine days later, Corporal Jackson was dead, killed by the hatred that his admirable life of duty, sacrifice and honor contradicted.

Officer Matthew Gerald – was assigned to the Baton Rouge Police Department uniform patrol bureau.

He was a member of the police department for less than one year and a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq.

Shortly after the Baton Rouge rampage started, his wife ominously posted on Facebook a link to television coverage of the tragedy. “Everyone please pray!!! She added, “My husband along with others is out there.”

Deputy Brad Garafola - was a father of four and member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office since April 23, 1992.

Tonja Garafola, Deputy Garafola’s wife posted these heart-wrenching sentiments about her beloved husband on Facebook after the tragedy, “Our hearts are completely broken and still in disbelief of it all. Brad, I love you so much and I don’t know how to do this without you, you’re my best friend, my rock, and my hero.”

Final Reflections

According to grim statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), preliminary 2016 law enforcement fatalities as of July 19 show a 72 percent increase of firearms-related deaths compared to the same time frame of 2015.

The unity of effort between the police and the people is critical to America. Our nation will only be on the path of reawakening when we fully commit ourselves to ethical pillars of leadership, character, dignity, and respect.

The virtues enshrined on the Baton Rouge Police Department website are protection, obligation, leadership, integrity, courage, and excellence.

The fallen Baton Rouge police officers honored these virtues with their heroic sacrifices. America must honor their lives, and the lives of all who perished protecting and serving our nation. Only when our police and people are truly united will America be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage:

Dallas Police Tragedy: Healing, Unity, Renewal

Mass Shootings, Police Fatalities: America’s Culture of Trauma

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

Fallen Police Officers: Honoring American Sentinels

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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos:

1. People attend a vigil on July, 18, 2016, for Matthew Gerald, one of the three officers killed Sunday, July 17, at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La. (Leila Macor/AFP/Getty Images)

2. Police officers slain in Baton Rouge from left to right: Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garfola. (Photo Credit, Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rough Sheriff's Department)

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dallas Police Tragedy: Healing, Unity, Renewal

The tragedy in Dallas, with the reprehensible murder of five police officers, illuminates the dangers of those who take the honorable oath to protect and serve America’s communities.

This cowardly attack, the most deadly against law enforcement since 9/11, must inspire America to appreciate our police, and fully commit ourselves as a nation dedicated to police-community unity.

The current storms of police-community controversies, tensions, and brokenness must serve as a turning point that ignites healing, unity, and renewal.

Although our nation’s police-community issue is national in scope, the entire world is watching America’s response.

Last week, while traveling throughout China, I followed the events not only through American sources, but witnessed extensive coverage of our police-community issues through Chinese television and newspapers as well.

Honoring the Dallas Fallen

The loss of police officers in Dallas is not only an indescribable loss to their families, but to the law enforcement family nationwide, and a wound to the heart of America.

America’s police are called to serve as ethical guardians, and protect communities as the lifelines of security and safety.

Our country wound quickly erupt into anarchy, chaos, and turmoil without our police, and we must appreciate their service and dedicate ourselves to a unity of effort.

Let us pause to respect those who have fallen in Dallas on July 7, and pledge to honor their sacrifices with a commitment to renewing the nation by enhancing police-community cohesiveness.

Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol – an eight-year Dallas Police Department veteran, previously served as a jail worker with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in Detroit, Michigan from 2003-2007.

Officer Krol, 40, is best described by his mother as a “caring person who always wanted to help others. He knew the dangers of the job, but he never shied away from his duty.”

On the night of the protest, Officer Krol texted his girlfriend that “everything was going peacefully.”

Dart Police Officer Brent Thompson – was the first police officer in the history of his Rapid Transit Department to be killed in the line of duty.

Officer Thompson, 43, was also a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the father of six children, who all took the stage during his funeral service to honor their dad.

His daughter Katie Thompson said, “His only goal in life was to provide a better life for his children, for us. Whether it was becoming a Marine and going overseas, he worked so, so hard to provide for us his entire life. He worked two jobs lots of times. He worked countless hours of overtime so he did not have to see us struggle.”

Another daughter Sandy said, “He was not just a hero to Dallas, but to the world. He fought overseas for many, many years.”

Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa – served three tours in Iraq with the Navy as a security officer.

Officer Zamarripa, 32, joined the Dallas Police Department after his military service and recently was assigned to do a bicycle patrol in downtown Dallas.

Valerie Zamarripa, his mother stated, “from when he was a little boy, Patrick always wanted to be a police officer. He loved life, he loved his family, his job, he was a happy man and where he wanted to be.”

Just a few days prior to his death, Officer Zamarripa, father of a 2-year-old, was planning a Disney cruise with his family.

In a test message on July 4, one of his last written messages, Officer Zamarripa noted “Happy Birthday to the greatest country on the face of the planet, my beloved America.”

Dallas Police Sgt. Michael Smith – was an Army Ranger veteran before joining the Dallas Police Department in 1989.

Sgt. Smith was received a “Cops’ Cop” award from the Dallas Police Association. He was married and had two daughters and admired for having a positive attitude and compassion for others.

His sister, Yea-Mei Sauer, shared these heart-wrenching words at his funeral. “My brothers murder will not be in vain, his selfless legacy will live on. He wound want us to continue the good fight, to be guardians, leaders, peacemakers, to love one another, to set the example, because this is what we are supposed to do.”

Dallas Police Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens – served as a deputy at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) from 1991-2002 before beginning his service with the Dallas Police Department.

Ahrens leaves behind a wife and two children. He was described by Captain Ken McWard, a former colleague with the LASD, as “someone who always wanted to be in law enforcement. You can tell that when you first met him. He was a big guy with a big heart and you could always count on him. He really loved what he was doing.”

Final Reflections

In my article titled “Principles of American Policing” published in the April 24, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times, I summoned a clarion call to enhance dialogue, communication, and trust between police and communities.

This was highlighted in my first principle, “Being pro-police and pro-community are inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent.”

But this first principle is best described by the broken heart of a father, Rick Zamarripa, who lost his beloved son, Officer Patrick Zamarripa in Dallas on July 7.

Mr. Zamarripa said, “all of this hate has to stop. I don’t care if your black or white … we are all God’s children.”

Related Coverage:

Policing Dangers Demand Community Collaboration

Fallen Police Officers: Honoring American Sentinels

Police-Community Crisis: Rise to the Occasion

NYPD Fallen Officer Randolph Holder: Fidelis Ad Mortem

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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Bio Photo Credits - National Law Enforcement Memorial Officers Fund.

Closing Photo: The Procession makes its way on the George Bush Turnpike to Restland Funeral Home in Richardson, Texas, for the graveside service as law enforcement paid their respects following the funeral service for Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens held at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. (Stewart F. House/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

NYPD SHIELD: Forging Partnerships, Protecting New York

On Monday, June 27, I attended the NYPD SHIELD conference at One Police Plaza in Manhattan.

As detailed in my article titled “NYPD SHIELD: America’s Public-Private Collaboration Model” published in the July 25, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, NYPD SHIELD is a public-private partnership. It is a unique unity of effort dedicated to countering terrorism through information sharing.

These are perilous times throughout America with the threat of terrorism as witnessed in horrific attacks. These have included the Boston Marathon Bombings, San Bernardino, and the Orlando nightclub.

Each of these tragedies is a sobering reminder that terrorism is a real and present danger demanding moral leadership and collaborative vigilance. Law enforcement officials, private security professionals, and members of the public must be dedicated to a unity of effort.

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton

As normal protocol for NYPD SHIELD conferences, the event began with NYPD Commissioner William Bratton’s remarks.
Bratton advised over 400 attendees on the dangers of ISIS, particularly with its exploiting the destabilized Middle East due to the Syrian crisis.

The commissioner explained how ISIS ignited terror attacks by inspiring, enabling, or directing them.
Bratton assured attendees of the NYPD’s commitment to terrorism prevention, preparedness, and response. This includes 550 members of the Critical Response Command (CRC), an elite cadre of officers trained for terrorism and active shooter scenarios.

The CRC is supported by 800 additional officers in the Strategic Response Group (SRG). In addition, Bratton stated that there are over 700 officers in the Emergency Services Unit (ESU). All these units are supported by a robust investigative unit in partnership with many other law enforcement agencies.

Boston Marathon Bombings Retrospective

Although numerous terrorist attacks were cited during today’s conference, a presentation titled “Boston Marathon Bombings Retrospective” was emotionally riveting.

This presentation began with FBI special agent Timothy Brown who stressed that it is difficult to stop terrorism, as with the Boston Marathon, during the attack stage. Therefore, Brown stressed that effective investigations, especially to thwart pre-attack surveillance plans, were critical to terrorism prevention.

Brown also stressed that the importance of public safety and first-responder cohesiveness was critical after an attack. He emphasized that balancing these two factors was paramount so that medical assistance can take place while safeguarding all from the possibilities of additional attacks.

According to Brown, the focus of the Boston Marathon bombings was directed by the FBI as the lead agency since it was an act of terror.

In this role, the FBI worked collaboratively with other agencies to gather evidence. This included digital evidence collected from closed-circuit TVs and smartphones. Brown stated that private and public sectors were extremely cooperative with providing digital evidence. This evidence helped law enforcement to identify a person of interest, who was accompanied by another suspect in the evidence, which led them to the two attackers.

Following FBI special agent Brown’s presentation, was Steve Mellin, deputy criminal chief of the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Mellin’s passionate presentation focused on making the lives of the victims a priority for prosecution. He stressed that the horrific nature of the attacks resulted in deaths, amputations, and injuries to hundreds of innocent people. During the prosecution, Mellin used graphic photos and videos to successfully convict the surviving attacker.

This digital evidence powerfully depicted the attacker’s callous contempt for human life. It clearly showed their awareness that the explosion, filled with nails and other projectiles, would impact children who surrounded them as they stood preparing to leave their bombs in the crowd.

Final Reflections

America must remain collaboratively vigilant during these perilous times as terror incidents continue to accelerate.

We must also have hope and remain determined that our unity is our strength. This was emphasized at the NYPD SHIELD event by Chief Edward Deveau of the Watertown Police Department. The chief, now retired, had his officers involved with a shootout with the two attackers, who also attacked the officers with exploding pipe bombs.

Deveau stated that the slogan “Boston Strong” was a reality due to the courage of the victims, the compassion of the first-responders and medical professionals, and the commitment of law enforcement.

These are the qualities that make “Boston Strong,” “New York Strong,” and “America Strong,” Deveau stated, and that “no fear of terror will ever diminish the greatness of America.”

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 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. NYPD presence on Fifth Avenue, NYC during Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 1, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. NYPD presence at Macy's, 34th Street/Herald Square, NYC, Nov. 21. 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD presence in Times Square, NYC, Feb. 11, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)




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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

21st Century Policing: America’s Ethical Guardians

As detailed in published works for the Epoch Times over the last two years, these are defining times for American policing that demands ethical guardians.

There has always been corruption in government, but this is no excuse for unethical behavior to continue.

The dignity that represents America demands renewal, and our police, so vital to the integrity of government and security in our communities must rise to the occasion.

Every law enforcement official who takes the sacred oath to protect and serve, must be fully dedicated to society as an ethical guardian.

There can be no compromise by law enforcement officials to ethical values. Law enforcement must be totally and wholeheartedly committed to their sacrosanct duty, never faltering with the responsibilities bestowed upon them.

NYPD Scandals: Leadership, Transparency, Accountability

In my Oct. 10, 2014 article for the Epoch Times titled “Transforming the NYPD: Terminating Toxic Police Officers,” I encouraged the NYPD-and every police department-to be inspired by the ideals of the United States Military Academy (USMA), commonly referred to as West Point.

The article stressed that the mission of West Point is to educate, train, and inspire leaders of character, ethics, and moral courage.

In the article, I also expressed by appreciation for the ethical leadership of NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton, detailed during his words to over 800 top department officials in 2014.

Bratton addressed the small percentage of NYPD officers who are “poisoning the well” and needed to be weeded out.

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

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

U. S. Attorney, NYPD, FBI: Collaborative Ethical Leadership

On Monday, June 20, 2016, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York posted a document on their website reminding society that no one is above the law.

The document, complimented by a news conference on the same day, was titled “Senior NYPD Officials and others charged with Federal Public Corruption Offenses.”

It detailed the arrests of NYPD officials and charges against them.

These NYPD arrests complement the commitment expressed by Commissioner Bratton throughout his career, and during the retreat. The arrests also reflected the collaborative ethical leadership of the U.S. Attorney, NYPD, and FBI as detailed in the following statements:

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: “The alleged conduct violates the basic principle that public servants are to serve the public, not help themselves to cash and benefits just for doing their jobs. Jeremy Reichberg allegedly showered senior police officials, Commanding Officers Michael Harrington and James Grant, with bribes, and in exchange, got ‘cops on call,’ a private police force for themselves and their friends. As alleged, Sergeant David Villanueva and Officer Richard Ochetal in the NYPD’s gun licensing division were also on the take, issuing gun licenses in exchange for cash, liquor, and limo rides. It is heartbreaking to see police officers who have taken the oath to serve and protect allegedly bring dishonor to an institution and profession deserving of the greatest honor. I thank the FBI for their work on this important investigation and the NYPD for its commitment and courage to police itself.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriquez: “The abuses of power alleged in this case are not victimless crimes. The victims are the citizens of New York, who rely on officers to fulfill their sworn duty. The victims are the upstanding police officers who do everything in their power to uphold the law and protect the public. The victims are public trust and confidence in law enforcement, both critical to ensuring public safety. The FBI, along with our partners, will continue to root out this kind of decay at every level in order to protect our citizens from the devastating consequences of corruption that undermines safety, and erodes the trust between law enforcement and the public.”

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton: “These charges and today's arrests are a culmination of the joint investigative efforts of the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau along with the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. During the past three years, NYPD Internal Affairs and FBI investigators worked diligently in pursuing leads into alleged corrupt activity involving uniformed members of this department. Two separate investigations, by the NYPD and the FBI, merged seamlessly and resulted in today’s arrests of four members of the department as well as another individual. This investigation is not over and we will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to go where the facts of these cases lead us.‎”

Final Reflections
One of my responsibilities throughout my career, has been empowering law enforcement with the character needed to serve society as ethical guardians.

This work will continue with a New Jersey conference scheduled for a partnership of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor, and Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute (BCLPSI).

The conference, titled “21st Century Policing: America’s Ethical Guardians” will take place on Oct. 4, 2016 at the BCLPSI.

It will be my goal with this event, to compliment the noble efforts of countless police officials throughout the nation serving as ethical guardians.

I am confident their commitment, upheld by the U.S. Attorney, NYPD Commissioner, and FBI Assistant Director this week, will inspire police renewal, so critical to reawakening the nation.

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 185 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

An extended version of this article was published in The Chief of Police, summer edition, the official publication of The National Association of Chiefs of Police, Volume XXXI / Number 2.

Related Coverage

The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian

Ethical Guardians: Repudiating the Ferguson Effect

Policing Demands Ethical Sentinels

Transforming American Policing: A Defining Moment

Principles of American Policing

Policing in America: Protect, Respect, Community

Photos

1. NYPD officer assisting Times Square visitor. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. NYPD Motorcycle Unit, Herald Square at 34th Street and Sixth Avenue, April 18, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. NYPD presence in Rockefeller Center. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Orlando Shootings: Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy

America must prayerfully pause with profound compassion and listen to the cries flowing from the city of Orlando.

The senseless killing of 49 innocent people and wounding of 53 others inside a nightclub must ignite the deepest emotions of sorrow, empathy, and sympathy in the heart of America.

This most recent manifestation of hatred demands our condolences for the indescribable suffering of the victims, as well as for their families and friends.

We must also honor many unsung heroes who placed themselves in harm’s way to prevent additional fatalities. First-responders and medical professionals also deserve our praise for their dedication to help the victims.

Empowered by prayerful hearts that refuse to despair, we must encourage the suffering, and remain vigilant to prevent future tragedies.

America must have hope, courage, and resolve so healing may come to the heart of our wounded nation.

Orlando Victims: A Spotlight

In order to enflame compassion in our hearts, let us take the time to reflect on some who died in Orlando.

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, a two time cancer survivor who raised 12 children. One of these children, a son, was with her dancing on that fateful night and would see her collapse after being fatally struck by a bullet.

Akyra Murray, 18, was celebrating her graduation from West Catholic Prepatory School with a trip to Orlando. Akyra had graduated third in her class and was a star basketball player who had signed to play form Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania.

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez
, 25, grew up in Manati, Puerto Rico, and moved to Orlando a few years ago. His Facebook page detailed his studying health care management at the Ana G. Mendez University’s Orlando campus.

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27, had just purchased his first home, so his mom could have a nice place to live. He was the general manager of a check-cashing store, who according to his sister Valeria Monroig, “cared more about other than about himself.”

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26, was a native of Queens, N.Y., who according to her Facebook page, graduated from Ridge Community High School in 2008. She was at Pulse Nightclub with her friend, Amanda Alvear, both of whom were confirmed killed during the shootings.

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 was a leasing agent in Orlando whose loss is best described on his Facebook page by his mother, "My heart is broken with the news of your departure, I can't contain the tears and the pain I feel inside of me. You will always be my baby and I will always love you. May the Lord receive you with open arms and I hope to see you soon my love."

Cory James Connell, 21, was a graduate of Edgewater High School, studying at Valencia College. His aspiration according to his Facebook page was to be a firefighter with one message noting him as “the greatest friend.” Cory was celebrating his 21st birthday on the night he was killed at the nightclub.

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31, was employed by Walt Disney World in Orlando. He was with his friend, Cory James Connell, apparently celebrating his 21st birthday on the night both were killed at the nightclub.

Final Reflections

The heartbreaking loss of these men and women, so cherished by their families, friends, and communities reminds us of the sacredness of human life and that we are all members of the same human family.

As we eternally honor their memories with compassion, empathy, and sympathy, let us remember that each life is sacred and every human being deserves dignity, respect, and reverence.

Note Well:

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

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

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

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

Related Coverage

Terrorism Attacks Demand America’s Leadership

Mass Shootings, Police Fatalities: America’s Culture of Trauma

America’s Mission: Eradicating Discrimination, Prejudice, Racism

Diversity: America’s Heartbeat

Photo

People attend a prayer service for the Pulse nightclub shooting victims at Delaney Street Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., on June 15, 2016. The shooting, which killed 49 people and injured 53, is the worst mass shooting in American history. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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