Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Social Media Spectator Trend: Callous, Contemptuous, Culpable

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

Empowering Students with Character

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Empowering Educators to Inspire Character

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

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

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

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

Bystander Effect: Disturbing Incidents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Reflections

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

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

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

Related Coverage:

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

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

America’s Graduates: Transform the Nation With Character

School Bullying: A Matter of Life and Death

Note Well:

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

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

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

Photo

1. Monmouth University Phi Eta Semma National Honor Society officers (L-R), Amanda Kruzynski (president), Alexis DeCarvalho (vice president), Dr. Golam M. Mathbor (faculty adviser) Vincent J. Bove (keynote speaker), Taylor Bernosky (historian), Carolina Carvalho (secretary), and Rebecca Groom (treasurer), March 8, 2014. (Courtesy Brian Kutner)

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

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Remembering D-Day: Rehabilitating American Character

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

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

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

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

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

These heroes must be eternally honored.

D-Day Highlights

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

Leadership Lessons for Today

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

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

Appreciate Industrial Capacity

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

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

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

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

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

World Is a Family

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

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

Character Counters Violence

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

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

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

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

Note Well:

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

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


Photos

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

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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Acceleration of Terrorism Demands America’s Vigilance

The world continues to witness unspeakable terrorist acts that violate moral decency, human rights, and the rule of law.

Terrorism is a senseless evil against human dignity, charity, and justice, as well as a cowardly affront to humankind.

Every human being of good will throughout the world must unite their voices to condemn terrorism.

The world must be dedicated to peace, and unite with a clarion voice against terror which includes the following atrocities:

• The killing and injuring of innocent people
• Despicable practices of mutilations, beheadings, and desecrating human bodies
• The destruction of sacred places include houses of worship, monasteries, and burial places
• Destroying religious treasures, artifacts, and cultural symbols

Kabul, Afghanistan Tragedy

The May 31, 2017 terror attack in Kabul that killed at least 90 people and wounded over 400 others has wounded the soul of Afghanistan.

This attack, near the presidential palace, in the heart of Kabul’s diplomatic community, was meant to undermine the nation’s efforts to build security.

According to initial reports, the bomber detonated explosives in a truck at 8:30am. The timing of the explosions, during rush hour in a busy public place, was no coincidence. The objective was to maximize human carnage by terrorizing a busy boulevard.

The entire community, including retail establishments, banks, embassies, supermarkets, and government offices was decimated.

Once again, cowardice has surfaced through a deranged killer without respect for human life.

This attack, one of the countries deadliest in years, increased the fatality numbers to more than 1,500 since 2009.

Recent Terror Attacks: A Partial List

May 26: A terrorist attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in Central Egypt killed at least 28 people and wounded 25 others. The people, including children among the dead, were on a pilgrimage and many were shot at point blank range. The Coptic Church is the primary Christian faith in Egypt. It is one of the earliest Christian communities, dating back to about 50 AD.

May 22: At least 22 people were killed while attending an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, United Kingdom. The concern of law enforcement is that the suicide bomber did not act alone, and others may strike again.

May 20: Numerous car bombs killed nearly 100 people in separate incidents in Baghdad and Basra.

May 18: Over 50 people, many of them women and children, were killed in Hama, Syria.

May 15: Boko Haram was responsible for an attack in Maiduguri, Nigeria that killed six farmers tending their fields.

May 12: A suicide bomber detonated a vest killing at least 25 people in Mastung, Pakistan.

May 5: Two female suicide bombers killed at least five people in northeast Nigeria.

April 9: Two separate bombings killed people in Egypt, at least 28 in Tanta and another 17 in Alexandria. The bombings took place on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred week of the year for Christians. One bomb detonated while worshipers were singing hymns at St. George’s Church in Tanta. The bomb was hidden under a seat in the main prayer area. The second explosion, outside St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, detonated at a security checkpoint by a man wearing an explosive belt.

April 3: At least 15 were killed and 64 injured by a suicide bomber at the St. Petersburg metro station in Moscow.

March 22: At least five were killed and 49 injured in London at the famed Westminster Bridge.

March 15: A suicide bomber killed at least 30 people in Damascus. Just days earlier, on March 11, 40 were killed in the city in a double bombing, with over 100 injured near Shiite shrines and a cemetery. The shrines are sacred places, often frequented by foreign pilgrims.

U.S Department of Homeland Security Tips

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has many approaches to enhancing America’s vigilance.

One approach is to develop “critical partnerships between the private sector and the public sector in order to mitigate risk and enhance the security and resilience of public gathering sites and public events.”

The DHS encourages the four steps of Connect, Plan, Train, and Report as follows:

CONNECT: Reach out and develop relationships in your community, including local law enforcement. Having these relationships established before an incident occurs can help speed up the response when something happens.

PLAN: Take the time now to plan on how you will handle a security event should one occur. Learn from other events to inform your plans.

TRAIN: Provide your employees with training resources and exercise your plans often. The best laid plans must be exercised in order to be effective.

REPORT: “If You See Something, Say Something™” is more than just a slogan. Call local law enforcement.

NYPD SHIELD

The NYPD SHIELD program is an extraordinary partnership dedicated to safeguarding New York. It deserves dedicated participation by law enforcement and private security professionals who can get involved through www.nypdshield.org.

The program is also deserving of duplication by other law enforcement agencies and private sector security professionals to prevent an act of terrorism elsewhere in America.

Safeguarding the nation is enhanced when individuals work together. Teamwork is an irrefutable and essential quality that America needs now more than ever when it comes to preventing terrorism.

This teamwork can be called collaboration, cooperation, or partnership but unequivocally it is a unity of effort between the public and private sector. This cohesiveness is essential for America’s security.

Final Reflections

The acceleration of terrorism throughout the world demands America’s vigilance.

We must do everything possible to unify as a nation, forging iron-clad partnerships between the public sectors, private sectors, and the community.

When America unifies, we will be on the path of preventing terrorism and reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage:

Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America


Mass Shootings: America’s Public Health Crisis


NYPD SHIELD: America’s Public-Private Collaboration Model


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

Photo

1. A police officer's hi-vis jacket, adorned with messages of support, is pictured alongside flowers and balloons at Victoria Station car park, near to the Manchester Arena in Manchester, northwest England on May 30, 2017, placed in tribute to the victims of the May 22 terror attack at the Manchester Arena. (OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

2. NYPD SHIELD Conference, Dec.10, 2013, NYPD Headquarters, NYC. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memorial Day: Respect, Reverence, Reawakening

America must pause to honor all who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Our nation must be reawakened by igniting a fire of respect, reverence, and remembrance in our souls.

Honoring all who have offered the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom is not only a privilege, but a sacred responsibility.

There must be a renewal of respect in the heart of America.

America must eternally heed the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”

America’s Flag: Symbol of Respect

As we honor Memorial Day, respect for America’s flag must be integral.

Our flag is the symbol of America, deserving of reverence, respect, and dignity.

In traditional observance of Memorial Day, the flag is raised briskly to the top of the mast. Then, it is reverently lowered to half-staff where it remains till noon. For the remainder of Memorial Day, it is raised to full-staff.

The half-staff flag solemnly honors well over one million men and women who have died to preserve our freedom.

At noon, their memory is honored with a full-staff flag, symbolizing that their sacrifices are not in vain.

The Flags of Arlington National Cemetery

At Arlington National Cemetery, one of America’s national cemeteries and the hallowed ground for more than 14,000 veterans, our flag holds a special place of honor.

On the Thursday before Memorial Day, over 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place an American flag at each of over 260,000 gravestones at Arlington.

Afterwards, these soldiers patrol the cemetery, 24 hours per day, throughout the weekend, to insure that the flags remain standing.

America’s flag is inseparable from honor for all who have offered the ultimate sacrifice.

Perhaps these words of an unknown author best articulate honoring our fallen and our flag:

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

There are countless stories of the fallen, of which these two inspire respect.

U.S. Marine 2nd Lt. August Sacker Jr.

During World War II over 400,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice to save civilization from tyranny.

One such American was U.S. Marine 2nd Lt. August Sacker Jr., who joined the Marines when he was 22 years old. After previously quitting high school, sacker went back to earn his diploma to meet Marine requirements.

Sacker was killed June 15, 1944, on the first day of the Battle of Saipan, one week after his 31st birthday. Six months prior, he was wounded in the Pacific theater and received the Purple Heart. After convalescence, Sacker requested deployment to the European theater but was sent back to the Pacific where he was killed.

I learned about Sacker after noticing his vintage World War II photograph in the living room of my neighbor Marie, his surviving sister who since then has also passed on. Marie inspired me by her devotion to her brother by visiting his grave on a monthly basis for over 40 years while she was healthy enough to do so.

Sacker is buried in Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, N.J. His sister said, “Visiting the grave of my brother and remembering all who made the ultimate sacrifice reminds us of the enduring value of character that is America’s destiny.”

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley

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

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

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

Final Reflections

As America honors the fallen on this Memorial Day, may we reawaken reverence throughout our land.

Perhaps these words, from President John F. Kennedy will assist us with our observance:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live them.”

Related Coverage:

Memorial Day: Honor the Fallen, Widows, Orphans

Memorial Day: Honoring America’s Sacred Sacrifices

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. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1. Changing of the Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. American flags at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in preparation for Memorial Day in Arlington, Va., on May 21, 2015. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
3. U.S. Marine Lt. August Sacker, who was killed at the Battle of Saipan in World War II. (Vincent J. Bove Publishing)
4. Internment procession of Lt. Mark H. Dooley, Arlington National Cemetery, July 13, 2007. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Armed Forces: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

On Saturday, May 20, America will celebrate Armed Forces Day.

It is commemorated annually, on the third Saturday of each May, to express gratitude for all men and women serving in America’s armed forces.

Armed Forces Day is also a part of Armed Forces Week, which begins each year on the second Saturday of May.

Armed Forces Day History

As detailed on the U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces Day website, Armed Forces Day was created on August 31, 1949.

The purpose of this new day was to integrate previous separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days and to combine these with honoring all who serve, including the Marines and Coast Guard.

This single day commemoration reflects the unity of all serving in our armed forces under the Department of Defense.

Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, understood clearly the critical importance of America’s armed forces. His assuming the office of the presidency after the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the waning months of World War II served as his lesson.

In a speech honoring the formation of Armed Forces Day, President Truman “praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas.”

Truman also stated that our armed forces are “vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace.”

In his Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Truman articulated the principles of collaboration, readiness, and preparedness, by stating the following:

"Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense".

Just a few years later in 1953, another president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, honored Armed Forces Day by stating the following:

"Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man. For it is he-the soldier, the sailor, the Airman, the Marine-who has fought to preserve freedom. It is his valor that has given renewed hope to the free world that by working together in discipline and faith our ideals of freedom will always prevail."

Safeguarding Peace

America, and all governments of the world are obligated to work for peace and avoid war.

However, we need our armed forces since the dangers of war persist and we cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, especially when all efforts of peaceful negotiation have failed.

The wisdom of Winston Churchill in his speech before the House of Commons on May 31, 1935, is applicable to “a corridor of deepening and darkening danger” taking place in the world today.

“It would be folly for us to act as if we were swimming in a halcyon sea, as if nothing but balmy breezes and calm weather were to be expected and everything were working in the most agreeable fashion. By all means follow your lines of hope and your paths of peace, but do not close your eyes to the fact that we are entering a corridor of deepening and darkening danger, and that we shall have to move along it for many months and possibly for years to come … It is not only the supreme question of self-preservation that is involved in the realization of these dangers, but also the human and the world cause of the preservation of free Governments and of Western civilization against the ever-advancing forces of authority and despotism.”

Just War Doctrine

As America commemorates Armed Forces Day, a moment to reflect on the strict conditions for legitimate defense of military force deserves consideration.

America’s military has a treasured legacy as the ethical protectors of freedom, democracy, and moral decency. This honorable legacy is also applicable to our defense of innocent, law-abiding people of many nations.

As “deepening and darkening dangers” ignite, the gravity of a decision to use military force must always respect ethical principles. These are commonly understood as the Just War Doctrine.

These principles involve the following:

• The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
• All other means of stopping the aggressor must be impractical or ineffective;
• There must be serious probability of success through the military action;
• The use of military action must not produce destructive consequences and disorders greater than the aggression to be terminated. The capabilities of modern warfare, which can be catastrophic, if not cataclysmic, must be weighed heavily in determining the condition for using them.

Final Reflections

America must eternally honor all who protect us through military service.

These patriots are the ethical protectors of the security and freedom of America, and people of good will throughout the world.

When they fulfill their duty, they provide legitimate defense, a sacrosanct duty of their mission.

In the garden of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, is a powerful sculpture titled, “Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares” by Yevgeny Vuchetich.

The sculpture depicts these words from the Book of Isaiah:

“they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

As a gathering storm continues with division among nations, may nations heed these words and pray for peace.

Yet, let us always remember the sacred right we have to defend ourselves, and all people of moral decency.

May we be forever grateful for our Armed Forces, and may their sacrifices throughout the world serve the path of peace.

Related Coverage:

America’s

Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes


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. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photo's

1. U.S. Navy Sailors, Times Square, NYC, May 21, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. U.S. Marine Corp, Times Square, NYC, May 22, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. “Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares” by Yevgeny Vuchetich, United Nations Headquarters, NYC. (Public Domain)

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Trojan Horse in the Heart of America

The legend of the Trojan horse is ever-new, illuminating dire lessons to be learned due to contemporary issues in America.

Our country is in desperate need of an ethical renaissance. We must be vigilant due to the realities of deception from within.

America Beware

According to myth, the Trojan horse depicts a huge, hallow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks. It is designed to deceive by penetrating the walls of Troy during the Trojan War.

The Greeks deceived the Trojans to believe the horse was an offering to Athena, the goddess of war.

This deception violated not only physical security principles by gaining unauthorized access, but involved supernatural duplicity.

The Trojans were deceived to believe that their goddess would make Troy impregnable against their enemies.

Although the Trojans were warned, they allowed the Trojan horse to enter into the very heart of their society.

Afterwards, under cloak of night, Greek warriors emerged from the horse, and opened the gates for their army.

The moral of the story is to be aware of deception, especially through the guise of pleasantries, honor, and generosity.

Unfortunately, this lesson has not been learned throughout the ages, as individuals are continually manipulated, tricked, or scammed. When subterfuge takes place from within, it is particularly destructive.

There is a Latin verse in the "Aeneid", Book II, "Equo ne credite, Teucri. Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes."

The expression is translated as "Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bringing gifts."

America’s Crisis of Truth


Society must be built on the foundation of truth which always contradicts false witness, deception, and lying.

Truth is a moral requirement for society, and offenses against honesty, by word or action, are violations against character, ethics, and moral decency.

By our nature, we must exist in harmony with truth, as it is vital to the dignity of our humanity.

Truth is expressed through candor, sincerity, an honesty. It is a virtue required in the normal encounters of daily life, and it is mandatory at the highest levels of the nation.

Truth is always opposed to the destructiveness of deception, duplicity, and hypocrisy. Although deviance's may have their moment, truth must be forever upheld, for in due time, it will have its victory.

Truth is also a virtue which respects the virtue of justice. Whenever there are offenses against truth, as with rash judgement, deception, slander, immoral business practices, or calumny, there is an assault against justice.

Lying is commonly understood as the most direct offense against truth. The gravity of the lie is based on the manner in which truth is distorted, as well as the unjust suffering to its victims.

Lying is never acceptable, but tragically alive and well throughout America. If one is honest about contemporary realities of American life, we are experiencing a crisis of truth throughout every segment of society.

Dishonesty is rampant in our courts, with deceptive affidavits, perjury, and manipulating the truth with the intent to deceive.

Lying is also massive and pervasive through corporate greed, in families through infidelities, and at the highest levels of government through cover-ups, corruption, and hypocrisy.

America must realign its moral compass, and enhance our vigilance to safeguard democracy. We must have our eyes wide-open to the numerous seductive deceptions taking place throughout society.

We must be ever mindful that deceptiveness, under the guise of progressiveness, is a violation of truth.

The violation of truth always opposes the character, dignity, and destiny of America.

Dangerous false pronouncements that dishonor truth are toxic to the heart of the nation.

Truth must always be served. We must always take the moral high-road and never accept compromises that are intoxicated by mediocrity.

Final Reflections

America must dedicate itself to an ethical renaissance built on the pillars of truth, justice, and patriotism.

Our nation needs moral courage, ethical leadership, and unwavering vigilance for a reawakening. These principles must take place in the hearts of all; individuals, families, students, educators, law enforcement, community leaders, corporations, and government officials.

America will undergo a transformation when character, built on the foundation of truth is reawakened, renewed, and rejuvenated in the heart of the nation.

“We the People”, have a restlessness in our hearts that can only be satisfied when truth is served. This truth is only authentic when it is opposed to self-aggrandizing schemes, shallow slogans, or manipulative huckstering.

A Trojan horse has penetrated the heart of America, cloaked by a veil of deception, dishonesty, and hypocrisy.

It is time for all privileged to call America home, to change the course. This will only be possible through lives of character, honesty, and moral decency.

Related Coverage:

Drain the Swamp: Championing America’s Ethical Renaissance

America’s Corrupt Culture Beckons Ethical Renaissance

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Painting:

1. The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Public Domain)

2. People parade with a Trojan horse during an historical reenactment in front of the amphitheatre as part of the third edition of the Roman Games on April 28, 2012 in Nimes, southern France. (PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/GettyImages)

3. American Flags, Rockefeller Center, NYC. (Vincent J. Bove)


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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

National Police Week: Honoring Ethical Protectors

As America prepares to commemorate National Police Week, we must pause to honor all who serve our communities, especially those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), in 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

President Kennedy also designated the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week.

During the same year, a joint resolution of Congress proclaimed National Police Week as the time to pay special recognition to those who died protecting others.

The Memorial Wall: Ever-Changing

As of May 2, 2017, the fatalities of ethical protectors reflect a sobering 32 percent increase over the same time frame last year.

The NLEOMF tracks law enforcement fatalities nationwide.

New York, California, Georgia, and Louisiana lead the nation with these fatalities.

Whenever an officer is killed in the line of duty, the NLEOMF informs the nation of their sacrifice through their Fallen Alerts Program.

This alert also initiates a process for the fallen officer’s name to be immortalized into the National Memorial.

The Memorial in Washington DC, honors federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve America.

Carved into the Memorial stones are the names are more than 20,000 officers killed in the line of duty.

These names date back to the first known death in 1791.

But unlike other iconic memorials in our nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall (NLEOMW) is ever-changing.

As new officers offer the ultimate sacrifice, their names are etched into the Memorial each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week.

Recently Fallen Ethical Protectors

As one pauses to reflect on the sacrifices of our ethical protectors, we must remember they are members of America’s communities and families.

These are individuals with lives of hallowed service to America, who must be eternally remembered as individuals who represent the best of all of us.

This is a partial list of recently fallen ethical protectors as detailed on the NLEOMF site.

Deputy Sheriff Mark Burbridge
Pottawattamie County (IA) Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: May 1, 2017


Deputy Sheriff Mark Burbridge was shot and killed while he and another deputy transported an inmate back to the Pottawattamie Jail after a court appearance. The inmate was able to disarm one of the deputies and shot them both, killing Deputy Sheriff Burbridge and wounding another deputy.

The inmate then stole the transport van and fled the scene. Afterwards, the inmate was found and taken into custody.

Deputy Sheriff Burbridge is the 14th law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in 2017 and the first officer fatality from the state of Iowa.

Deputy Sheriff Justin Beard
Ouachita Parish (LA) Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: April 30, 2017


Deputy Sheriff Justin Beard was killed in a single vehicle crash while responding to a burglar alarm during a severe thunderstorm. Deputy Sheriff Beard is the 7th law enforcement officer to be killed in a single vehicle crash and the third officer fatality from the state of Louisiana.

Corporal Stephen J. Ballard
Delaware (DE) State Police
End of Watch: April 26, 2017


Corporal Stephen J. Ballard was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious vehicle at a gas station.

One of the suspects in the vehicle fired upon Corporal Ballard striking him multiple times.

Corporal Ballard was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

One suspect was apprehended at the scene and the second suspect barricaded himself inside his home.

Corporal Ballard is the 13th law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in 2017 and the second officer fatality from the state of Delaware.

Sergeant Megan Lee Callahan
North Carolina (NC) Department of Public Safety - Division of Prisons
End of Watch: April 26, 2017


Sergeant Megan Lee Callahan was killed after being assaulted at the Bertie Correctional Institution in North Carolina.

She was attacked by a male inmate serving a life sentence for a previous murder.

Sergeant Callahan was provided medical aid but later succumbed to her injuries. Sergeant Callahan is the second officer fatality from the state of North Carolina.

Agent Benjamin De los Santos-Barbosa
Puerto Rico Police Department
End of Watch: April 19, 2017


Agent Benjamin De los Santos-Barbosa was shot on April 16, 2017, when he and three other officers attempted to stop a vehicle with illegal window tint.

The suspect, who was on parole, led officers on a pursuit. The suspect then backed into the patrol car and opened fire as he exited the vehicle hitting Agent De los Santos-Barbosa in the head.

Agent De los Santos-Barbosa succumbed to his injuries on April 19, 2017.

Agent De los Santos-Barbosa is the 12th law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in 2017, and the first officer fatality from Puerto Rico.

Final Reflections

America must appreciate the service of dedicated men and women protecting our communities in a dangerous profession deserving of honor.

As detailed in my article title “Fallen Officers Demand America’s Reawakening” for the July 20, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times, fatalities of our ethical protectors pierces the 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. Law enforcement officials 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 build ethical bridges of respect, dignity, and decency within every facet of society, especially between the police and the people.

We will be on the path of reawakening the nation, when these bridges are built in our schools, campuses, workplaces, families, and communities.

Related Coverage:

Fallen Officers Demand America’s Compassion, Vigilance, Unity

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1, 2, and 4. (Credit NLEOMF)

2. Memphis, Tennessee, Police Officer Nick Koonce makes a pencil rubbing from the memorial wall at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial May 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. Koonce made a rubbing of the name of Officer John Sykes, Jr., who was killed in the line of duty in 1982. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U.S. Air Force: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

Recently, I had the privilege of serving the U.S. Air Force (USAF) as a keynote speaker for an award ceremony.

The event honored the outstanding service of numerous men and women of this service branch of our armed forces.

Prior to my presentation, I received a detailed tour highlighting the admirable work, sacrifices, and dedication of USAF personnel.

It was an awesome experience that made me proud to be an American.

Honoring America’s Military

Due to the highly classified nature of the unit’s work, I will avoid mentioning detailed specifications relative to their location, mission, equipment, and personnel. Individuals who are enticed by this article can easily learn more about the USAF through open-source information.

But, I would like to complement my lifetime of gratitude for our armed forces, and to encourage others to appreciate their service to America.

The USAF: A Snapshot

As detailed in the official USAF website, their motto is “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win.”

This motto is complimented by their core values of “integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all that we do.”

The creation of the USAF was initiated by the National Security Act of 1947, and Executive Order 9877 signed by President Harry S. Truman.

The Executive Order punctuated “air superiority … strategic air force … air reconnaissance … airlift … air support to ground and naval forces … and coordination of air defense.”

The USAF site continues by detailing the critical importance of an air force. The USAF is required not only for its military capabilities, but because of the demands of a global transportation system that includes the following:

• $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy and ten million jobs.
• 35 percent of global trade by value moves by air, and involves 57 million jobs worldwide.
• There are about 2,150 satellites and 100,000 man-made objects in space. The USAF virtually tracks all of these and deploys and operates in six constellations with over 170 satellites.

Also, the globe demands security, especially due to escalating tensions among nations.

America requires a rapid global mobility enabling our presence anywhere in the world. This presence allows our nation’s ethical protectors to respond to problems. It also support their efforts with the following services:

Airlifts – swift deployments and sustained operations.
Air refueling – the linchpin to global power projection.
Aeromedical evacuations – a crisis planning requirement for saving lives.

USAF Priorities

Additionally, the USAF ability to respond to a crisis anywhere in the world includes these priorities:

• Strengthening the nuclear enterprise
• Partnerships with the joint and coalition team for victory
• Developing and caring for Airmen, Airwomen, and their families
• Modernizing air and space inventories, organizations, and training
• Recapture acquisition excellence

USAF Mission and Vision Statements

Essential to the USAF is their mission and vision statements which reads as follows:

Mission Statement

“The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. Our rich history and our vision guide our Airmen as we pursue our mission with excellence and integrity to become leaders, innovators and warriors.”

Vision Statement

“The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air, space, and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance, Reach and Power for the nation.”

Final Reflections

During my keynote, I highlighted to attendees that the USAF is pivotal to the honor, leadership, and protection of America.

The concept of mentorship was presented, which is paramount to their service, and complemented by stressing the importance of being ethical protectors.

The ethical protector philosophy is encouraged in my initiatives not only for the military, but for law enforcement and all in society who are dedicated to America’s ethical renaissance.

We all have a part to play, no matter what role we have in life. All of us have the capacity to serve others as ethical protectors.

America is at a crossroads, as witnessed through the continual headlines of violence and character deficiencies.

As we pause to appreciate the USAF, may each of us renew our dedication to safeguarding our homeland as ethical protectors.

When we are true to our social nature of protecting one another, we will be on the path of our true destiny and the reawakening of the nation.

Related Coverage:

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

Note Well: all photos and information are open-source information from the USAF official website.

1. An F-16 Fighting Falcon receives fuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker during exercise Razor Talon Dec. 14, 2015, over the coast of North Carolina. The aircrew and other support units from multiple bases conducted training missions designed to bolster cohesion between forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho)

2. The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performs a rifle demonstration during the 2016 Air Force Tattoo at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2016. In addition to the team’s performance, the event consisted of U.S. Air Force Band routines, aircraft flyovers and heritage speeches. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter)

3. Fully armed Aircraft from the 18th Wing conduct an elephant walk during a no-notice exercise April 12, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th Wing operates combat ready fleets of HH-60 Pave Hawks, F-15 Eagles, E-3 Sentries and KC-135 Stratotankers, making it the largest combat-ready wing in the U.S. Air Force. Kadena AB provides leading-edge counter air, command and control, air refueling and combat search and rescue operations, enabling theater commanders of joint and allied partners to project and enhance lethal, persistent and flexible combat power in response to adversaries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

4. Staff Sgt. Jonathan Jenkins, 824th Base Defense Squadron squad leader, plays with his son prior to deploying, April 11, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. More than 100 Airmen from the 824th BDS, known as the ‘Ghostwalkers,’deployed to Southwest Asia to provide fully-integrated, highly capable and responsive forces while safeguarding Expeditionary Air Force assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Nash)

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Monday, April 17, 2017

United Airline Reflects America’s Corporate Character Crisis

Respect for others is inseparable from character, which must be the heartbeat of America.

Harmony in society is only possible when character is encouraged, empowered, and enabled.

No one can live completely independent of others. Society by its very nature demands character. This virtue is a catalyst for peaceful co-existence with others.

Society benefits only through respectful exchanges with others, and service that develops trust.

Character allows us to be true to the dignity of our existence, and to the tranquility required by society.

When character is deficient, there is chaos, crisis, and confrontation. Character is essential for society, and it is also the transformational ingredient that will renew integrity.

Character inspires loyalty, trust, and respect. It enriches relationships, honors the common good, and will change the complexion of America.

Without character, society quickly disintegrates into adversities, divisiveness, and injustices.

America Requires Character

As detailed in my extensive published works for the Epoch Times, and a lifetime of presentations and published articles, character must be the heartbeat of America.

Character must be cultivated throughout society, and it must be developed in our youth from the age of reason.

It must be the heartbeat of our educational system, and continue throughout every segment of American life.

Character must also be ignited in our families, and every faith-based community, school, campus, government entity, and corporation.

When character is present, the dignity of the individual as well as the common good is enriched.

Conversely, whenever there is a deficiency of character, the integrity of society is compromised, diminished, and undermined.

Corporate America Requires Character

The disgraceful dragging of a bloodied doctor off a United flight recently disturbed the soul of America.

Compounding the incident, the initial and superficial legal-posturing of the airlines CEO lacked the moral courage required by the company leader.

Although this customer properly purchased a ticket, and was authorized to board, he was violently removed from the aircraft, to make room for employees needing to travel.

As a response to the video evidence of the incident, the Twitter response of the CEO pathetically read as follows:

“This is an unsettling event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to the passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve the situation.”

Through this contemptuous response, the crisis of the incident was exacerbated by a lack of ethical leadership.

This response failed not only the violated customer, but all others on the flight. It also wounded the professional hard-working employees of United, the airline industry, corporate America, and the very morale of the nation.

The most basic conflict resolution, diplomacy, problem-solving, and communication skills were non-existent. There were many failures on many levels and with many people, all of whom should have known better.

It was a complete failure of leadership, professionalism, and moral decency.

This incident and its reprehensible response was an indictment of the character crisis in corporate America.

Only when we ignite character in the heart of corporate America, and throughout every segment of our society, will we be on track for a desperate ethical renaissance.

Corporate America: Respect the Common Good

Humanity has a social nature and each person has a responsibility to contribute to the common good.

This is only possible when we refuse to live as isolated individuals. We must realize that we are social by nature. Society is served when character is exemplified within our families, communities, corporations, and government representatives.

Essential to cultivating character in America is ensuring its presence in our corporations.

Every individual in corporate America who has been entrusted with authority has the responsibility to be ethical. Ethics is inseparable from character and it must be the heartbeat of corporate life.

Character must be the culture of corporate America. It must not be superficially expressed through slogans and mission statements. It must be alive and present in the corporate culture, experiences, and attitude.

America’s Ethical Renaissance Requires Corporate Ethics

There is a legion of American corporations representing a crisis of character extending far beyond the United scandal.

Some of the worst corporate scandals over the last 15 years include some of the most iconic names in corporate America.

These include Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen, Tyco, Healthsouth, Freddie Mac, American Insurance Group, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff, and Saytam.

The greed, dishonesty, and arrogance of individuals within these companies violated the most basic ethical principles.

It is time for America to turn the tide from this unethical corporate environment.

Corporate America needs ethical leaders who are fully committed by word and action to cultivating corporations of character.

Final Reflections

Moral courage, transformational character, and ethical leadership are critical to the integrity of society.

When virtues are present, both individuals and the common good are the beneficiaries.

The continuous scandals throughout corporate America reflect a crisis of character.

We must reawaken the nation through initiatives that inspire integrity, respect, and courtesy.

We will be on the path of a moral reawakening when character is the heartbeat of corporate America, and cultivated throughout every facet of American life.

Related Coverage:


NBC Scandal Reflects America’s Integrity Crisis

NFL Domestic Violence Scandal: Time for Action

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day: Respect, Reflect, Resolve

On Monday, April 24, 2017, the world must pause to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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

Between 1940–1945, in an atrocity unparalleled in evil and scope, six million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The Innocence of a Child

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Night

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

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

Testimonial of a Holocaust Survivor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liberation Monument, Liberty State Park, Jersey City

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

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

Photos

1. Inmates waving a home-made American flag greet U.S. Seventh Army troops upon their arrival at the Allach concentration camp on April 30, 1945. (Arland B. Musser/U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park)
2. The Diary of Anne Frank
3. U.S. Army medics help evacuate ill and starving survivors. Buchenwald, Germany, April 1, 1945. (Peter M. Schmit/U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

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 over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


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