Tuesday, February 21, 2017

America’s Shadow of Internment: Executive Order 9066

Every year, on Feb. 19, the Japanese American community honors Remembrance Day.

It is a solemn day to reflect, resolve, and renew lessons from Executive Order 9066 which was signed on Feb. 19, 1942.

The executive order took place shortly after the “date which will live in infamy,” speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) on Dec. 8, 1941.

Although on face value, the order was neutral, allowing for areas of land to serve as military zones, it resulted in a dark shadow of American history.

This order, as cited on the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) website, gave the U.S. Army authority to remove civilians from military zones established in Washington, Oregon, and California during World War II.

The JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights league in America, and dedicated to preserving the memory of these events. Their website details information on Executive Order 9066 that includes the following:

“It is a reminder of the impact the incarceration experience has on our families, our community, and our country. It is an opportunity to educate others on the fragility of civil liberties in times of crisis, and the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting the rights and freedoms of all.”

Intolerance, Discrimination, Incarceration

Executive Order 9066 led to military removal, often by soldiers with bayonets ready, to residents of peaceful, law-abiding Japanese Americans.

The executive order led to the forced removal of 120,000 American’s of Japanese descent. These Americans, many with families including young children and infants, had to abandon everything. They lost the freedom they treasured and were immediately incarcerated into ten different concentration camps.

Although no Japanese Americans were ever afforded due process, nor charged, nor convicted of any acts of espionage or sabotage, they lost their freedom. They were forced by an executive order from their homes into years of intolerance, discrimination, and imprisonment.

America: A New Crisis of Intolerance

As America marked the 75th Anniversary of FDR’s executive order 9066 this year, we must have our eyes wide open to a new crisis of intolerance. Confusion has been ignited throughout our homeland and issues will apparently get much worse before the nation is reawakened to the principles of tolerance.

America must not compromise our national security. We must work vigorously to protect our homeland with principles that respect our Constitution.

America must also honor the dedicated men and women who serve in our armed forces and law enforcement agencies. We have the blessings of freedom, democracy, and liberty because of their sacrifices.

But America must also honor every person who respects our values despite our differences. These differences include race, color, religion, national origin, citizen status, gender, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, ancestry, and military status.

Each and every human being is sacred and deserves dignity, freedom, respect, and security.

Broad Stroke Dangers

The lessons of Remembrance Day teach America of the dangers of a broad stroke approach to security, immigration, and patriotism.

The broad stroke of an American president’s pen with Executive Order 9066 led to 120,000 acts of intolerable injustice against innocent, law-abiding people.

These people, families with men, women, and children dedicated to American values, was a travesty of justice. They were discriminated against and lost their freedoms, properties, possessions, homes, and businesses.

America must learn the lessons of the past. There are mechanism’s with today’s state of the art security and technology that must be used to protect the homeland. But these must always be utilized with respect to our Constitution.

These mechanism’s, complimented by our Armed Forces, law enforcement, and all dedicated to our values have the capacity to safeguard America. Yet, we must eternally remember that safeguarding America must never violate the dignity of the human person.

America must always be faithful to its call to uphold and defend human rights. Respecting human rights is the heartbeat of America. Human rights is also the antidote to the venom of intolerance, conflict, ignorance, and misunderstanding.

Final Reflections

As detailed in my March 6, 2016 article for the Epoch Times titled “Understanding Islam Is Essential to Community Policing", America must cultivate dialogue. This must include with all who are different from us and with all the great faiths of the world.

Tensions, fear, and misunderstandings are high in America, and there are concerns world-wide about our nation.

America must have unwavering dedication to building harmony on the pillars of human rights, social justice, religious freedom, and ethical principles that honor our Constitution.

Perhaps these words, memorialized in the aforementioned article, may serve to light a fire of patriotism within us:

“For those who represent the great faiths of the world, especially Christians, Muslims, and Jews, dialogue is expressed through respect, dignity, and charity. Dialogue has the power to build harmony for faith-based communities—as well as for nonbelievers—fostering social justice, moral values, freedom and liberty.

“America is a land filled with churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples with the responsibility to intensify dialogue through faith-based communities. Our Bill of Rights proclaims that freedom of religion is sacrosanct.

“Therefore, we have the moral foundation to cultivate human rights, religious freedom, and peaceful coexistence. Our nation must be the catalyst for resolving misunderstandings between nations and faiths that include intolerance, racism, injustices, ignorance, wars, and violence.”

Related Coverage

Bigotry, Prejudice, Racism: America’s Toxic Virus

Honoring American Immigrants: Family, Neighbors, Heroes

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Bainbridge Island (Wash.) evacuation -- Group of young evacuees wave from special train as it leaves Seattle with Island evacuees, March 30, 1942. (Courtesy U.S. Government)

2. Poster (Courtesy U.S Park Service)

3. Japanese-American World War II soldier George Yamada places flowers on the "Go for Broke Monument", in downtown Los Angeles, on June 5, 1999. (LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)

4. Members of the Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus. Identification tags are used to aid in keeping the family unit intact during all phases of evacuation. Mochida operated a nursery and five greenhouses on a two-acre site in Eden Township. He raised snapdragons and sweet peas. (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

5. Leenah Safi (L) looks on during a lecture at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 30, 2010. (Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images)

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Personality of American Leadership

As detailed extensively in my published works and presentations, leadership is critical to America.

Leadership has been addressed, as recently as last week, in my Feb. 10 article for the Epoch Times titled “America’s Hope: Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration.”

It was argued that leadership is the solution to America’s challenges.

Before I continue with some personal insights on the personality of American Leadership, allow me to stress the necessity of cultivating leadership qualities throughout all of society. This includes our young people, the future of the nation.

The youth of America deserve our unwavering efforts, dedication, and good example. The power to influence begins in the family, continues in the schools, and expresses itself throughout every level of society. Our families, schools, communities, workplaces, houses of worship, and government must be dedicated to character.

All who are privileged to be in roles of leadership must remember the eyes of the nation are upon them.
Leadership is more than a privilege. It is a responsibility that demands the highest expression of character that is driven by respect, ethics, and dignity.

Ethics is critical to the nation and character education initiatives must be front and center in all of our educational communities.

Character, or the lack thereof, is the very heartbeat of the individual, and the nation. It is the essence of leadership and the antidote for remedying deficiencies throughout society.

Currently, America is under siege with divisive issues. These issues include immigration, civil rights, national security, violence prevention, racism, police-community relations, poverty, unemployment, education, and discrimination. A crisis of leadership compounds these issues.

America must ignite an ethical renaissance through all in privileged positions of leadership. This renaissance can only be ignited and sustained by the fire of character. It must be ignited throughout every facet of society.

Character must also be inspirited in every home, without compromise, from the inner city to the White House.

When each and every person in America realizes that they have the responsibility to exemplify character, we will be on the path to an ethical renaissance.

Personality of Leadership: Practical Tips

America is continually scorched with headlines illuminating a crisis of leadership throughout every level of society.

Individuals within privileged responsibilities throughout society, from the inner city classroom to the oval office, must are called to lives of character. Character is built on the pillars of sacrosanct trust that demands conduct beyond reproach.

Each of us must walk the path of character that is highlighted by courtesy, respect, and dignity.

Perhaps some of these principles of leadership, may serve to inspire:

• Leaders speak the truth with moral courage. They express words and actions that affirm the goodness of others. This affirmation has the capacity to inspire as individuals are uplifted through honesty, respect, and encouragement. Words can either be poisonous darts or healing remedies. A true leader is a person of word and action who persuades, influences, and encourages from a heart of character.

• Leaders realize that kindness is a power that is expressed through time, patience, and involvement. We are surrounded by individuals in our communities and families who are challenged by difficulties we may never imagine. We must listen to words and actions and use kindness to transform, inspire, and elevate broken lives.

• Leadership demands service that exemplifies compassion, empathy, and authenticity. Each of us must roll up our selves, get involved, and serve others from the heart.

Final Reflections

America is currently experiencing conflict, divisiveness, and dissipation. We must rise to the occasion.
This will only be possible when character is the foundation of society and the heartbeat of all privileged to lead.

Perhaps the character of Abraham Lincoln can motivate every American, from the student to the President.

As one studies the life of Lincoln, one observes character, ethical behavior, and moral responsibility.
These qualities are reflected in his life as a young student at the fireside, and throughout the decisions of his presidency.

Lincoln is a model of character for America. He realized that responsibility must have moral fiber.

Our sixteenth president lived during a time of national divisiveness, but his character served to transform the nation.

Each of us privileged to call America home must listen and understand Lincoln well.

We must exemplify the moral courage to ignite character into the arteries of the nation. Lincoln’s words from February 27, 1860 deserve our reflection:

“Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

America, listen, understand, and live the message of Lincoln, as character is the foundation for reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage

American Government Requires Ethical Leadership

America’s Graduates: Transform the Nation With Character

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

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Students with their teacher at a character education presentation by Vincent J. Bove at Union City Public Schools, N.J., on Feb. 27, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. The White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 6, 2012. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

3. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

America’s Hope: Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration

These are challenging times for America, but for those who cherish the nation, we must remain confident that we will endure.

America, despite the challenges, will rise as radiant as a morning summer sun.

These verses from The Stars and Stripes Forever, the official National March of the United States of
America, must serve to resuscitate our hearts with a renewed devotion:

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

This American treasure, was written by the composer John Philip Sousa in 1897. Sousa was a patriot who grew up during the Civil War with a devotion to inspiring the nation through music.

The song was influenced by the tragic loss of his band manager, which prompted Sousa to terminate his European holiday and return home to America.

America is now at a crossroads, and music from our tradition has the capacity to inspire leadership, vigilance and collaboration.

These qualities are desperately needed for the reawakening of the nation.

America Demands Ethical Leadership

The contemporary issues facing America demand leadership from competent, ethical, and inspirational leaders who are truly dedicated to the nation.

America demands ethical leadership, individuals who will steer the ship of the nation with steady hands and personalities that inspire confidence.

We must be honest about our current leadership crisis since throughout every facet of society – corporate, government, sports, entertainment, faith-based communities, schools, and families – we experience the flaws of human nature. These flaws, expressed through continuous scandals, do not represent the best of any of us. These scandals do not represent the best of America, and our nation deserves a reawakening.

Character must be the heartbeat of all entrusted with the responsibility of leadership. With good character, as the heartbeat of America, we will have the antitoxin for remedying challenges, deficiencies, and divisions.

The issues of immigration, national security, civil rights, violence prevention, discrimination, veteran’s services, education, police-community relations, racism, unemployment, and poverty are surmountable.

America will conquer these shortcomings when we have ethical leadership throughout the nation. But leadership will only be able to inspire, empower, and persuade when it is energized by character.

America Demands Unwavering Vigilance

While sitting at a meeting this week of the National Law Enforcement Associates (NLEA) with 125 law enforcement and private security professionals, there was a moment when everyone spontaneously received an Amber Alert on their smartphones.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Program’s website provides the following definition of this outstanding program:

“The Amber Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of the Amber Alert is to instantly galvanize the community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.”

Fortunately, the Amber Alert Program proved to be successful on Feb. 7, as a 2-year-old Staten Island toddler, snatched by her father was rescued. This took place just a few hours after the abduction.

The Amber Alert prompted a vigilant driver, Rui Fernandes, to contact the NYPD after matching a vehicle and its plates with details communicated to his phone.

This is a practical example of positive results for our communities, possible when vigilance is the order of the day.

Vigilance is also the heartbeat of our military personnel and we must be profoundly grateful.

The world is often a dangerous, volatile, and tumultuous place. Our armed forces must always be honored for their service. The liberty, freedom and way of life that America cherishes is only possible because of their sacrifices.

America Demands Collaboration

Collaboration within every facet of American society is critical as divisiveness is demoralizing, discouraging, and disheartening.

For the best interests of America, collaboration is critical between government officials, political parties, police and communities, corporate leaders and employees, faith-based servants and their congregations, educators and students, and family members.

Collaboration, particularly among government leaders, is also critical to fostering diplomacy and good-will between nations.

Final Reflections

In another verse of the song “The Stars and Stripes Forever’ are these immortal words:

A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

The eyes of the nation, and indeed the world, are upon America. All who are privileged to live in the land of the free must boldly profess our patriotism. The profession of patriotism must be expressed not only in song but in action.

America is destined to be freedom’s “shield and hope” and we must not disappoint, but inspire those who are watching us.

Related Coverage:
America Matters: Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration

America’s Flag, Patriotism: Resuscitating Our Destiny

Note Well:

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

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Stars and Stripes, Rockefeller Center, NYC. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. Stars and Stripes, Fifth Avenue, NYC. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Essex County Police Academy Honor Guard, graduation service, Aug. 13, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. Stars and Stripes, Rockefeller Center, NYC. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Monday, January 30, 2017

America’s Houses of Worship Require Enhanced Security

In my article titled “Sanctuary Profaned: Protecting Houses of Worship” for the April 10, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, I argued that places once considered sanctuary now demand state-of-the-art security.

The article highlighted sobering headlines depicting violent incidents in houses of worship. It also cited details from an FBI report of active shooter attacks throughout the United States.

Horrific hate crimes, domestic violence incident spilling over into houses of worship, murder, and acts of terrorism were also addressed.

The recommendations presented in the article remains, as acts of violence continue in houses of worship. The possibility for violence and even a major terror attack at houses of worship exists.

Vigilance must be the order of each day and sound security principles must be continually enhanced.

These include defense-in-depth, target hardening, awareness and prevention training, board certified security vulnerability assessments, private-public partnerships, drills, updated emergency plans, threat assessment teams, and certified security personal.

Houses of Worship: The Violence Continues

Just this week, there were headlines reminding America that violence at houses of worship continues.
In one incident, a Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop was punched in the face while praying in the sanctuary. The incident occured as over 100 congregants were at a Memorial Mass he presided over.

The assault against the Most Reverend Manuel A. Cruz, 63 years-old, sent him to the hospital.

Although his injuries were minor, the incident shed light on the unpredictability of violence against anyone, including religious figures, in places considered sacrosanct.

There was an immediate apprehension of the assailant by law enforcement assigned to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey. But the incident is a stark example of the importance of security at houses of worship. Security should seriously consider a law enforcement presence, especially at iconic locations and also during large assemblies.

In a much more horrific incident this past week, six people were shot dead, and another six people injured at a mosque in Quebec.

The incident took place at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center and is being investigated as an act of terror.

Although in Canada, the incident must remind America of the critical responsibility of vigilance in our places of worship.

The January 10, 2017 death sentence of a white supremacist for the June 17, 2015 murders of nine black parishioners at a Bible class also took place this week. The senseless tragedy is still another wake-up call that must ignite resolve in our efforts to intensify security in our houses of worship.

Houses of Worship: Security Practices

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security document titled “Houses of Worship Security Practices Guide” released in May, 2013 deserves attention.

The document notes that there are approximately 345,000 religious congregations in America. These consist of about 150 million members from more than 230 denominational groups.

The guide stresses that the first step to developing a comprehensive plan for a religious facility is to identify the threats and vulnerabilities.

According to the guide, the threats include natural hazards, accidents, targeted violence, improvised explosive devices (IED’s), vehicle-borne explosive devices (VBIED’s), arson, chemical or biological attacks, assassination, or kidnapping.

The guide continues with the importance of having a threat assessment team comprised with a combination of facility personnel, members involved with services, mental health professionals, and emergency responders.

This document is outstanding and should be a resource for training staff and implementing enhanced security measures.

The guide also includes details on prevention, protection, mitigation, preparedness, and recovery.

Final Reflections

Although houses of worship must have a welcoming and serene environment, this must always be balanced with sound security measures.

It is a different world and not making efforts to enhance security in houses of worship is naïve, irresponsibly, and irrational.

Our houses of worship are sacred places of prayer where we exercise our constitutional and human right to pray.

But we must be realistic, blending the spiritual with the practical, and do everything possible to protect our houses of worship.

All who seek solace, peace, and community within their hallowed halls deserve our leadership, vigilance, and commitment to protect them.

Related Coverage:

Mass Shootings: America’s Public Health Crisis

Mass Shooter Crisis: America, Wake Up

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. NYPD presence at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, NYC, Feb. 27, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

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

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The CIA Memorial Wall: Honoring American Patriots

America is the land of the free and home of the brave because of the sacrifices of those who have served.

Our nation must remain eternally grateful for our patriots, especially those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice.

Their sacrifices must be reverently remembered as our democracy, freedom, and liberty only exist because of their devotion.

America only be considered great when a fire of patriotism burns within the hearts of its citizens.

This fire must burn perpetually through reverence, gratitude, and respect for all who have given their lives for the nation.

“We the People,” can only be true to our democratic principles when respect is cultivated in the heart of our nation.

This respect must express itself through words and actions, especially at places considered hallowed ground.

CIA Memorial Wall: Hallowed Ground

There are places throughout America that demand reverence without compromise.

These sacred places beckon united hearts to forever remember our fallen.

In Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address on Monday, March 4, 1861, he sought reconciliation for a nation divided.

Lincoln seized the moment and offered impassioned words to unite the nation:

“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

The lesson of Lincoln through his immortal words remains. We must eternally honor every battlefield, patriot, and sacred space that honors them.

Every living heart must forever honor our fallen, and reverence must always be exemplified on hallowed ground.

The CIA Memorial is one of America’s sacred spaces. Lincoln, if able to visit this hallowed ground, would inspire America with words of compassion, honor, and reverence. He would give dignity to this eternal memorial to patriots, CIA members who as inscribed on the wall, “who gave their lives in the service of their country.”

These words are one of the first things visitors see when they enter the CIA building, and they must ignite reverence at this hallowed place.

These words must also be engraved into the hearts of every American. We must honor all who gave their lives not only at this hallowed ground but on sacred ground throughout the nation.

This is the responsibility of our nation and all American’s must honor our fallen.

Stars on the Memorial Wall

Currently, there are 117 stars on the CIA Memorial Wall.

There are 84 stars for CIA members whose identities are known. The remaining stars are for those whose lives must remain a secret, even after death.

Each star represents a man or woman who died for America while serving in the field of intelligence.

The CIA website details criteria for individuals who earn a star:

“Inclusion on the Memorial Wall is awarded posthumously to employees who lose their lives while serving their country in the field of intelligence. Death may occur in the foreign field or in the United States. Death must be of an inspirational or heroic character while in the performance of duty; or as the result of an act of terrorism while in the performance of duty; or as an act of premeditated violence targeted against an employee, motivated solely by that employee’s Agency affiliation; or in the performance of duty while serving in areas of hostilities or other exceptionally hazardous conditions where the death is a direct result of such hostilities or hazards.”

Memorial Wall Honorees: A Partial List

According to published reports, these are some of America’s patriots honored on the Memorial Wall:

James McCarthy Jr. – a paramilitary operations officer who died in 1954, on a training flight in Southeast Asia.

William P. Boteler – killed in the bombing of a restaurant in Cyprus on June 16, 1956.

Barbara Robbins – killed in a Vietcong car bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, on March 30, 1965.

Nine officers were killed in action during the Vietnam War in South Vietnam or Laos from 1965 to 1975 – Unknown (d. 1965), Billy J. Johnson (d. 1968), Wayne J. McNulty (d. 1968), Richard M. Sisk (d. 1968), David L. Konzelman (d. 1971), Raymond L. Seaborg (d. 1972), John Peterson (d. 1972), John W. Kearns (d. 1972), William E. Bennett (d. 1975).

Matthew Gannon – one of at least four American intelligence officers aboard Pan Am Flight 103 when a bomb detonated and destroyed the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988.

Nathan Chapman – the first U.S. soldier killed in combat in the American war in Afghanistan, assigned as a CIA paramilitary team’s communications specialist. He was killed on January 4, 2002, while investigating an Al-Qaeda safe house in Khost.

Helge P. Boes – killed by a grenade during a training accident in Afghanistan on February 7, 2003.

Major Douglas A. Zembiec –was killed in a gun battle in Baghdad in May 2007, while serving with the CIA's Special Activities Division.

Harold Brown, Elizabeth Hanson, Darren LaBonte, Jennifer Matthews, Dane Paresi, Scott Roberson, Jeremy Wise – killed in the Camp Chapman attack in Afghanistan on December 30, 2009.

Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – killed during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of September 11–12, 2012. Both were former Navy SEALs and worked as CIA security contractors.

Final Reflections
America must pause and remember all who have fallen serving the nation, especially at our hallowed grounds.

We must always exemplify respect, dignity, and reverence at these places, and hold these virtues eternally within our hearts.

The CIA Memorial is sacred ground. It must forever inspire reverence, with its stars reflecting our fallen patriots forever shining in the heart of America.

Photo
1. An honor guard lays a wreath at the memorial wall of stars for those killed serving their country. (Courtesy CIA)

2. The Memorial Wall is on the north wall of the Original Headquarters Building lobby. This wall of stars stands as a silent, simple memorial to those CIA officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial Wall was commissioned by the CIA Fine Arts Commission in May 1973 and sculpted by Harold Vogel in July 1974. (Courtesy CIA)

Related Coverage:
Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

Note Well:

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

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

In Memoriam: NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, American Hero

During the past 20 years, I have been a privileged guest at many NYPD events.

The presence of rank and file police officials, dedicated to protect and serve, at these events always made me proud of being an American.

Yet, there was often another presence at these events, a true American champion of forgiveness.

Although a quadriplegic since he was shot on July 12, 1986, the presence of NYPD Detective Steven McDonald was always inspirational.

McDonald was always a larger-than-life presence at every assembly.

The presence of this great man was always a testimony on the efficacy of humility, respect, and dignity.

Detective Steven McDonald is a true hero to his family, the NYPD, his faith community, and to all of America.

NYPD Icon: Detective Steven McDonald

Life can dramatically change for anyone in a split second, as it did for Steven McDonald. His life changed while protecting and serving the people of New York City while on patrol in 1986.

Within seconds after he and his partner approached three boys in Central Park, one of them shot Steven three times with a handgun.

The incident paralyzed his body from the neck down for thirty years until his death on Jan. 10, 2017.

But Steven’s character transformed this tragedy into a mission for his faith, family, and country.

He became the NYPD’s greatest ambassador of police-community relations by illuminating a life of forgiveness, grace, and goodness.

Although paralyzed in body, Steven’s life became a supreme statement to the world that nothing is more powerful than the human heart.

During his son Conor’s baptism (born six months after the shooting) at a Bellevue Hospital chapel in 1987, Steven’s wife Patricia Ann read a statement. The words resounded throughout Steven’s life and will do so eternally as they epitomize the greatness of his character.

“I forgive him,” Steven’s wife read, “and hope that he can find peace and purpose in his life.”

Although his shooter was convicted for attempted murder, Steven always hoped that he find healing and peace.
This was expressed through his book, campaigning against gun violence, and most importantly through his life of charity, community, and virtue.

Steven will be forever remembered as a paragon of forgiveness. His life will be a perpetual statement that the value of life is not determined by physical strength but by the power of character.

Final Reflections: NYPD Commissioner’s Tribute

There are many moving tributes that have expressed the greatness of Steven’s life.

These words, from the eulogy of NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on January 13, deserve our reflection:

“He helped redefine what a hero is in the NYPD. And he did something good … every day.

“Detective Steven McDonald was a stronger person than anyone sitting in this grand cathedral – or anyone within the sound of my voice right now.

“What we can learn from Steven’s life is this: The cycle of violence that plagues so many lives today can be overcome only by breaking down the walls that separate people. The best tools for doing this – Steven taught us – are love, respect, and forgiveness.

“The shield Steven proudly wore on his chest symbolizes something sacred to every man and woman who has ever been a member of the NYPD. And every day that Steven was on this earth, he embodied its rich tradition of courage and compassion.

“If nothing else, Steven wanted people to know that police officers take their jobs seriously. Because policing is a profession. And Steven wanted people to know that if duty calls for it, police officers will give you everything.

“As we honor this great man today, let’s also ask that Steven’s fellow cops continue to be blessed and protected. For they are the ones who will forever carry on his important work.”

Photos

1. NYPD Detective Steven McDonald. (Courtesy NYPD News)
2. NYPD Detective Steven McDonald funeral procession, Fifth Avenue, NYC, Jan. 13, 2017. (Courtesy NYPD News)
3. NYPD Detective Steven McDonald with Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York. (Courtesy NYPD News)
4. NYPD Detective Steven McDonald with wife Patti, and son Conor, and NYPD Sgt. (Courtesy NYPD News)

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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

America is a nation of democracy, freedom, ethical principles, and the rule of law.

Therefore, policing in America is unique compared to many countries throughout the world.

Policing, inseparable from police-community partnerships, is essential to our way of life and we must be fully committed to enhancing this collaboration.

Aside from law enforcement officials, every person privileged to call America home must be dedicated to police-community unity.

Building Police-Community Collaboration

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), there are currently over 900,000 law enforcement officials, the highest figure ever, serving America.

Our law enforcement officials engage in countless acts of protection, respect, and service each day.

These sentinels, united with law-abiding citizens who value our way of life, safeguard the nation from anarchy, lawlessness, and discord.

Harmony in society is only possible with the collaboration of police and community members. This unity is indispensable to an ethical society and deserves an unwavering perseverance to building cohesiveness.

It would be disingenuous, naïve, and irresponsible to state that contemporary challenges to police-community collaboration do not exist in America.

But police-community partnerships must be forged as America is experiencing a phenomenon involving a culture of violence and crisis of character. The antidote to this venom that has been injected into our society demands police-community collaboration.

Law enforcement needs the support of the community to prevent, investigate, arrest, and prosecute those who violate society’s laws.

Society has vulnerabilities especially with individuals who cannot survive without protection. Police must have the tools, training, and support needed to protect potential victims.

It is the time of reawakening for policing in America and this will be realized when community members share in the responsibility of safeguarding communities.

Policing Report: U.S. Department of Justice

On December 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) announced a new report.

This report, The State of Policing in the United States, Volume I, was shared during a 21st Century Regional Policing Briefing hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in Canton, Massachusetts.

The publication provides an assessment of American law enforcement and includes a snapshot of important topics essential to policing.

The goal of this report is to compliment the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing which was published in 2015.

Both documents offer information to assist law enforcement agencies and community members to advance 21st Century Policing.

This newest report identifies community policing approaches that engage communities and enhance public safety.

It also addresses the impact of events and policies on police and their work which includes the following:

• Police use of force
• Mass demonstrations
• Body-worn cameras and videoing police
• Violent crime / Mass Shootings
• Opiates crisis and response
• Community Policing
• Cultural Competence
• Procedural justice
• Implicit bias
• Increasing transparency and accountability
• Effective staffing
• Officer wellness and safety

Final Reflections

In my presentations and published works over the last 20 years, I always encourage the study of reports such as the aforementioned as mandatory for those truly dedicated to police-community partnerships.

During the last 3 years in particular, my published works for the Epoch Times have identified and memorialized police-community issues and responses that will benefit the nation.

These articles, complimented by the findings in government reports on police-community relations, provide a wealth of information that uphold and honor ethical policing in America.

The articles, include the following that crystallize police-community cohesiveness as an indefatigable principle of American policing:

• Fallen Officers Demand America’s Compassion, Vigilance, Unity
• American Policing: Restoring Trust, Building Community
• Policing Requires Ethical Protectors
• 21st Century America Requires Police–Community Unity
• Precision Policing: Respecting Our Citizens’ Dignity
• Dallas Police Tragedy: Healing, Unity, Renewal
• Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline
• Principles of American Policing
• Building Police-Community Trust: Wake Up, America
• NYPD Mission: Develop 35,000 Ethical Protectors
• Collaborative Policing: Countering America’s Culture of Violence
• The Police and The People: A Unity of Effort

America must rise to the occasion and enhance its commitment to enhancing police-community collaboration. This unity is critical to safeguarding communities, enhancing morale, and to the heart of reawakening the nation.

Note Well:

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

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. NYPD officer assisting a visitor in Times Square on Aug. 23, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. A child speaks with police officers at the Livingston, New Jersey Police Department National Night Out on Aug. 7, 2013.(Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD Substation Times Square. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. NYPD on post in Times Square, NYC. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

American Government Requires Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leadership is critical to every segment of American society.

The integrity of our nation demands ethical leadership. It must be expressed through America’s schools, law enforcement agencies, educators, students, families, workplaces, and government officials.

In my article titled “America’s Critical Ethical Issues Demand Resolution” for the May 20, 2016 issues of the Epoch Times, I addressed ethics as critical to society.

America is at a crossroads for reawakening, and ethical behavior must be the foundation of the nation.

Our governmental leaders must set the example and pave the way for our future. This will only be possible when ethical leadership, not self-aggrandizement, is their first priority.

Government Leaders: Serve the People

Individuals within privileged positions of government have authority, power, leadership, and influence.

Government leaders must always have the best interests of those whom they have sworn to serve as their priority.

Our government leaders must avoid the pitfall of an attitude of superiority. This attitude is malignance that will distance them from those they have sworn to serve. All deemed inferior will easily be ostracized, and understood as insignificant and inconvenient.

Government officials are called to uphold a high standard of ethical behavior. Ethics is the moral foundation that animates their protecting the integrity of government.

Our government leaders are not ever above the law. They must carry the torch as ethical servants of society and must never exploit their obligation to serve.

The fatal distractions of pride, vanity, and arrogance must be avoided. This is only possible when there are ethical safeguards in place.

Government officials must exemplify a full force ethical commitment to serve, especially those in society most in need.

The arrogance of power can be a destructive seduction that ignites injustice, scandal, and corruption.
Corruption Threatens National Security

According to the FBI, public corruption is its top criminal investigative priority since it poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life.

Corruption can affect security at our borders, safe communities’ nationwide, public infrastructure, which includes the quality of education for our students.

Public corruption can also involve drug trafficking and alien smuggling at our borders through bribes.

There can also be election crimes that involve campaign finance crimes, voter/ballot fraud, or civil rights violations.

Slashing Ethical Oversight: Self-Serving Leadership

As America begins a new year, the hope for an ethical renaissance has been tainted.

There has been self-serving leadership demanding the slashing of ethical oversight within the highest levels of our government.

There are so many priorities for America, and serving the nation is not possible without ethics.

But our House of Representative is off to a dismal start and has sent a terrible message.

There should be no surprise at the outcry throughout America when House Republicans began 2017 by proposing a measure to eviscerate an independent ethics panel.

House Republicans voted 119-74, during a closed-door meeting, to replace the Independent Office of Congressional Ethics under the control of these very lawmakers.

This change in rules immediately appeared to be a scheme to the American people. It smacked of an impropriety undermining power from an office that can investigate their misconduct.

Certainly, this was not the right message to send to America.

Headlines throughout the nations immediately condemned their poor judgement. These headlines included the following:

• Secret House GOP Vote Guts Ethics Panel, Prompts Outcry
• With No Warning, House Republicans Vote to Gut Independent Ethics Office
• House Republicans gut their own oversight
• The GOP’s Ethics Disaster
• House Republicans move to strip Congressional Ethics Office’s independence
• House GOP seeks to weaken group hat probes corrupt pols

Based on their deficiency in inspiring confidence, a reminder to Congress is required.

According to published reports, dozens of members of Congress have been indicted since 1980.

Crimes in this shameful category of corrupt Congressional leaders include racketeering, tax evasion, accepting illegal gifts, mail and wire fraud, child pornography, aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child, conspiracy, money laundering, misuse of public funds and embezzlement.

Final Reflections

The FBI website memorializes massive and pervasive cases of public corruption. These sobering stories must motivate Congress to do their part for America’s ethical renaissance.

America’s government leaders must have the best interests of the people they serve first, and this is only possible when ethics is the heart of their service.

The reawakening of the nation demands ethical leadership. We must have leaders who live and inspire the highest standards of character.

The American people deserve nothing less than government leaders dedicated without compromise to service.

The plans of our government officials will only be efficacious when ethics is the driving force behind their behavior and decisions.

This misguided move to gut ethical oversight deserves condemnation from throughout America.

Only because of severe backlash, the travesty of their intent to minimize ethical safeguards was immediately curtailed.

Ethical oversight must be strengthened, not minimized, and America must continue to demand ethical leadership from all who have sworn to serve.

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24, 2015. Pope Francis is the first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

2. The US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, on November 15, 2016. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Visionary American Leadership: Champion for the Poor

There are parallels for American society in the masterpiece novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens.

The marginalized French peasantry are depicted as oppressed, humiliated, and demoralized.

It was the intent of Dickens in this immortal classic to influence the wealthy in London in 1859.

Dickens, unbeknownst to him, has another task, to inspire the wealthy in contemporary America.

In his famous opening lines, Dickens has a message for America. All who have ears to hear must listen:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us”

Champion of the Poor

During the 2016 presidential debates, the topic of poverty in America was glaringly missing from the conversations.

Charles Dickens was a champion of the poor because of his horrific childhood. He was forced to work in a factory, as so many other children were, to survive.

Dickens was forced to quit school. He worked ten-hour days at a local warehouse for six shillings a week. In the mid-1800s, a British shilling was a silver coin with the approximate size and value of a U.S. quarter. So, Dickens salary was roughly a U.S. $1.50 at that time.

In his novel, Dickens is warning the aristocracy with a metaphor of sowing and reaping. If the rich sow seeds of revolution through injustice, neglect, or contempt for the poor, they will reap a harvest of revolution.

The rich were portrayed as humiliating the poor. Meanwhile, the rich lived lavishly, excessively, and selfishly.

There is a universal message in this timeless masterpiece, and a poignant statement to contemporary America.

America has a history of generosity toward the marginalized. Poverty demands an impassioned commitment to treat the poor with dignity, empathy, and charity.

American Poverty: Facts and Statistics

According the the Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, many in America are hungry and billions of pounds of food are wasted each year.

Feeding America details alarming recent poverty statistics in the United States that include the following:

• 43.1 million people (13.5 percent) were in poverty.

• 24.4 million (12.4 percent) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.

• 14.5 million (19.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.

• 4.2 million (8.8 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.

• The overall poverty rate according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure is 14.3 percent, significantly higher than the official poverty rate of 13.5 percent.

• Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, there are 45.7 million people living in poverty, 2.6 million more than are represented by the official poverty measure (43.1 million).

• 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.

• 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure.

• 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.

• Households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 17 percent compared to 11 percent.

• Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (17%), especially households with children headed by single women (30%) or single men (22%), Black non-Hispanic households (22%) and Hispanic households (19%).

• 5.4 million seniors (over age 60), or 9 percent of all seniors were food insecure.

• Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 4 percent in Loudoun County, VA to a high of 38 percent in Jefferson County, MS.

Final Reflections

The timeless and universal message of Dickens in “The Tale of Two Cities” demands a call to action for America.

Poverty is a reality throughout the world and also right here on our homeland.

In America, where there is such incredible wealth, our poverty is a national scandal. The homeless, hungry, destitute, and hopeless cry out to the soul of America, and to the hearts of each of us.

The scandal of America’s poverty needs visionary leadership by all, particularly those in the highest levels of society.

It is unfathomable that there are so many destitute in America and that many children are hungry each day.

America must be a champion of the poor. We must enable all to benefit from the fruits of the harvest.

We must avoid the apathy that attempts to assuage our conscience. It is not acceptable that so many only have access to a few crumbs that fall from the lavish tables of the privileged.

America has an ordained mission of justice, dignity, and moral responsibility toward every member of society.

Our nation must live according to its call to be an ethical guardian. America must be dedicated to improving the lives of the poor. This will be a hallmark of our sincerity to reawakening the nation.

There is a Latin expression, “magnas inter opes inops’ which translates as “poor amid great riches.”

It is a reminder that the destitute in America are surrounded by inestimable wealth.

America must be mindful of our poor, and express honor to all who do everything in their power to assist them.

Photo

1. Volunteers assisting the Missionaries of Charity, commonly known as the sisters of Mother Theresa, at the Saint Augustine soup kitchen, Newark, NJ, Dec. 11, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. Homeless lady at the entrance of Central Park, 59th Street and Columbus Circle, NYC, Jan. 1, 2006. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. Bethseda Terrace, Central Park, NYC, Apr. 4, 2013. (Vincent J. Bove)

Related Coverage:

America’s Forgotten Homeless: Awareness, Compassion, Dignity

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.


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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chicago Crisis of Violence Demands Visionary Leadership

The cascade of bloodshed being witnessed throughout Chicago, one of the iconic American cities, is a national indictment.

This indictment is reflected in a moral decay, decrepit school system, apathy, and a failure of leadership.

Each and every law-abiding person who lives in America deserves the dignity of security. Every human being deserves protection from violence.

Preventing violence must not only consist of soundbites based on good intentions. The crisis demands a realistic visionary leadership that can inspire transformation throughout every element of the community.

Visionary leadership is critical to Chicago. It must be grounded with practical tools that build collaboration. Visionary leadership is built on the pillars of courage, community, and character.

We must not be indifferent to the bloodshed unleashed in Chicago.

America has a legacy of conquering seemingly insurmountable mountains. We must avoid apathy and ignite hope.

We have the character to change the tide of violence in Chicago and we must overcome indifference and inspire community.

Sobering Reality of Chicago’s Violence

The crisis of violence impacting Chicago continues through alarming current headlines that include the following:

*Shootings up nearly 50 percent after another violent weekend in Chicago
*The Chicago murder rate is so high, it’s expected to have an unimaginable national effect
*Why 2016 Has Been Chicago’s Bloodiest Year in Almost Two Decades
*Chicago’s Top Cop: Residents Are Begging Me To Save Them From The Violence
*Homicides out of control in Chicago
*Chicago hits grim milestone of 700 murders for 2016 and the years not over

These horrific headlines clearly reflect the crisis of Chicago violence. America must have a sense of moral outrage and inspire determination to change the course.

The Chicago crisis is a national scandal demanding visionary leadership that ignites community.

Transformation for Chicago must include the schools, workplaces, communities, faith-based communities, political officials, criminal justice system, media, law enforcement agencies, and of course families.

Families are being shattered throughout American society and we must address this crisis, especially through our schools.

Although transformation for Chicago appears to be an intimidating task, America has a legacy of rising to the occasion.

As a nation, we must remain courageous, never lose heart, and remain committed to animating character back into our society.

Chicago: America’s Violence Epicenter

In my July 25, 2015 article for the Epoch Times titled “Chicago Gang Crisis: Epicenter of Violence in America,” I detailed blistering violence tragedies.

The violence has intensified with heartbreaking headlines memorializing the carnage.

Warning signs have been screaming for effective intervention. These warning signs are most tragically witnessed as we listen to the cries of mothers losing their children to violence.

The great windy city of Chicago, acclaimed in song as “my kind of town” is a city in crisis.

The throbbing cadence of the city’s heartbeat is disintegrating with the venom of gangs, drugs, shootings, murders, mayhem, chaos, hopelessness, poverty, and death.

Final Reflections

Chicago’s renewal demands ambassadors of visionary leadership that inspire change, collaboration, character, and unity.

Chicago must accept a responsibility to change with a sense of urgency. Ethical guardians must be inspired not only in the Chicago police department, but among its political leaders, and every member of society.

Solutions include the Chicago Police Department’s unwavering commitment to the highest levels of ethical training, accountability, transparency, and community policing certifications.

But the responsibility for change is not entirely the responsibility of the Chicago Police Department. Every member of society has responsibilities, and we must forge iron-clad partnerships. Every member of society is co-dependent on one another for security, safety, and community harmony.

The immortal quote of Benjamin Franklin “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately” comes to mind. It can be paraphrased for life in Chicago as the following.

We are in a time of crisis and we must all learn to live together, or surely we will perish together.

Chicago must also remember that over time this moral cancer of violence has festered, and time will be critical for healing.

The time to begin the healing process is now. Chicago must ignite the flames of character throughout the community and pay a particular dedication to its youth.

The young people of Chicago, and throughout the nation, are the catalysts of change.

Our youth are the hope of America. We must encourage them, inspire them, and give them the tools of character that their communities and nation deserves.

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photo
Police investigate the scene of a quadruple homicide on the city's southside on Dec. 17, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Three people were found shot to death inside a home in the Fernwood neighborhood, another 2 were found shot outside the home, one of those deceased. Chicago has had more than 750 homicides in 2016. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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