Sunday, May 01, 2016

Holocaust Remembrance Day: May 5, 2016

On Thursday, May 5, 2016, 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.

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 twentieth 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 of 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."

Testimonial of a Holocaust Survivor

As a counterpoint to the evil that took place in Auschwitz, 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, N.J. It was fittingly held at the Trenton War Memorial—a national historic site—built as “a great community center” dedicated to the memory of American soldiers and sailors who died fighting World War I.

Prior to the Seder, a representative of the Anti-Defamation League explained the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan. 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 the 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, NJ

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.

In an atrocity unparalleled in evil and scope, six million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Between 1940 and 1945, about 1.5 million men, women, and children died at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

Night by Elie Wiesel

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."

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Photo's
1. US Army medics help evacuate ill and starving survivors, Buchenwald, Germany, April 1, 1945. (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

2. Diary of Anne Frank

3. 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.
(Photo credit: National Archives, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives)

4. The Liberation Monument (Bill Kimbark)

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Monday, April 25, 2016

The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian

Recently, I shared remarks to an assembly of 150 police chiefs, community leaders, private security directors, and law enforcement officials including the FBI, on American policing issues.

These remarks were delivered at the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association (BCPCA) event in Alpine, New Jersey on April 21, 2016.

The BCPCA is comprised of over 70 police agencies within the county; numerous city, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, private security professionals, and community leaders.

This unity of action from the public and private sectors is reflected in their mission statement:

“To secure a closer official and personal relationship among police officials in the County of Bergen; to secure unity of action in police matters; to elevate the standards of police institutions; to strive for advancement among all lines that pertain to the prevention and to the detection of crime and the promotion of police efficiency in general.”

The mission statement is complemented by charitable community initiatives for the needy, veterans, students, families, hospitalized, and schools.

BCPCA: A History of Community Policing

My remarks for the BCPCA crystalized an upcoming initiative that I will develop for the police and people of Bergen County.

The initiative will be titled “The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian.” It will address critical policing issues covered in many of my Epoch Times articles over the last two years. These articles encourage police to serve as ethical guardians, and to have a full force dedication to enhancing police-community relations.

As a member of the BCPCA for the last 15 years, I have been honored to serve on numerous policing initiatives which has included six years as a primary community policing instructor and presentations at five conferences.

Each conference was filled to capacity with over 250 attendees and addressed community policing, terrorism prevention, school violence prevention, crisis management, and ethics.

The conferences were a collaboration with police chiefs, prosecutors, sheriffs, numerous law enforcement agencies, community leaders, and 279 Bergen county schools.

This unity of effort represents the heart of addressing police-community issues not only in New Jersey, but throughout the county.

America Policing Dangers: Fast Facts

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), there are over 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers serving in the United States, the highest ever figure.

The NLEOMF presents some key data highlighting American policing issues that includes the following:

• Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 20,789 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

• A total of 1,439 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 61 hours or 144 per year. There were 123 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2015.

• There were 15,725 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2014, the most recent comprised record, resulting in 13,824 injuries.

• The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.

• New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 705 deaths. Texas has lost 1,682 officers, more than any other state.

These tragic statistics remind us of the dangers faced by our police, and the importance of not only appreciating their efforts, but assisting them in our communities.

A Clarion Call for Police-Community Collaboration

As detailed in my Epoch Times, September 4, 2015 article column titled “Policing Dangers Demand Community Collaboration,” whenever a law enforcement official is contemptuously murdered, the heart of America is wounded.

The article sounds a clarion call to enhance police-community collaboration by emphasizing vigilance among the police and community members.

Collaboration, as well as ethical principles, is further emphasized in my “Principles of American Policing.”

The first principle is as follows:

“Being pro-police and pro-community are inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent. Police must at all times remain fully committed to protecting and serving the public through character, ethics, and leadership that is total and wholehearted. Police must be guided by a moral compass that honors the community, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.”

Police Controversies, Protests, Concerns: A Defining Moment

As memorialized by incidents throughout America, many of which were videoed, it would be naïve, disingenuous, and irresponsible to minimize various police controversies, protests, and concerns.

These issues must be honestly addressed by law enforcement and law-abiding community members.

Commissioner William J. Bratton during an October 2, 2014 retreat of over 800 top department executives, served as a model to American policing through his candid remarks.

In his customary transparent honesty, Bratton addressed the small percentage of NYPD officers who are “poisoning the well” and needed to be weeded out.

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

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

This is a defining moment for transforming American policing. We will be on the path of reawakening the nation by encouraging police in their critical role as ethical guardians, giving them the assistance they deserve, and intensifying our resolve for enhancing police-community cohesiveness.

More:
Ethical Guardians: Repudiating the Ferguson Effect

Police-Community Crisis: Rise to the Occasion

Transforming American Policing: A Defining Moment

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

Transforming the NYPD: Terminating Toxic Police Officers

NYPD Mission: Terminate, Train, Transform

Policing Demands Ethical Sentinels

Police–Community Division: America Unite

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


Photos

1. NYPD presence, Times Square, NYC, Jan. 15, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. Essex County New Jersey Police Academy graduates, Aug. 13, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD presence, Brooklyn Bridge during Good Friday procession, March 25, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America

West Point, formally known as the United States Military Academy (USMA) has been developing, motivating, and inspiring leaders of character for America for over 200 years.

The USMA is admired internationally for its academic, military, patriotic, and fitness programs. These are all built on the pillars of character, ethics, integrity, and leadership.

The West Point Mission is “To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.”

West Point Cadets: A Day to Remember

On Thursday, April 14,2016, I delivered the opening presentation as requested by the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) for West Point Cadets visiting Jersey City.

Their visit honored the principles of community policing, patriotism, and leadership through a unique program titled “Winning the Peace.” This program is a collaboration of the USMA, JCPD, government leaders, faith-based communities, and corporate partners.

The initiative started twelve years ago and has included presentations as well as cadet visits to historic landmarks, Egyptian churches, various mosques and Islamic centers, Jewish synagogues, Mormon communities, and corporate facilities.

During my presentation titled “West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America,” I encouraged the cadets to develop deep rooted values of character, ethics, and leadership.

This presentation honestly assessed critical issues facing America today and emphasized that ethical principles inspired by our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the West Point legacy are principles needed to transform the nation.

My agenda used a metaphor of a catastrophic head on collision with two trains traveling at high speed. I used this image with accompanying slides to illuminate America’s crisis of character and culture of violence in America society.

America’s shattered communities, demonstrated through deteriorated families, substance abuse, and the gang culture, resulting in violence, prison, death, were also depicted with my slide presentation.

After honestly addressing these issues, solutions were presented that included cultivating altruism, visionary leadership principles, a call to action, and the importance of always honoring America’s military sacrifices.

The visionary leadership portion of my presentation included these principles:

• Leadership must be grounded in moral self-confidence developed by understanding through study, hard work, and education

• Leadership must accept the diversity and talents of the team and forge partnerships, cohesion, and significance to a cause

• Leadership is aware of the efficacy of truth and the destructiveness of dishonesty

• Leadership opposes the immorality of injustice

• Leadership understands that there is no persuasion without credibility

• Leadership responds to the needs of the community with humility, appreciation, and selflessness

• Leadership overcomes every hardship, handicap, and challenge to achieve its goals

After my presentation, the JCPD escorted all attendees into the heart of America history with a tour of Ellis Island and then Empty Sky, the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial in Liberty State Park, Jersey City.

West Point: A History of Character Initiatives

This “Winning the Peace” program complemented 10 years of various initiatives I have had with the USMA.

These included three years of participation as a speaker, mentor, and senior leader for the National Conference on Ethics in America at the USMA.

Other initiatives included my speaking engagements with Lt. General Robert L. Caslen Jr., superintendent of the USMA. These involved our presentations for an FBI management retreat as well as for “The Inaugural New Jersey Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership.” This was a filled to capacity conference for over 250 law enforcement officials hosted by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on May 12, 2014.

Both these events encouraged ethical leadership for FBI management and law enforcement as highlighted by these principles highlighted by Lt. General Caslen:

Honor – adherence to the highest standards of integrity

Respect – treating people with dignity

Servant Leadership - putting others before ourselves

Integrity – doing what is morally and ethically right even when no one is watching

Final Reflections

A day with the West Point Cadets was truly inspirational as these outstanding young men and women represent America’s ethical values. Their dedication to character, visionary leadership, and patriotism makes one proud of America and gives great hope for our future.

The collaborative leadership of the USMA, JPCD, government leaders, faith-based communities, and private enterprises made the event an outstanding success.

America’s future is bright, represented by the ethical principles of the USMA, and inspiring character in their cadets, shinning stars for the U.S. Army and our nation’s reawakening.

Finally, I would like to commend Captain Brian McDonough, Rtd., Jersey City Police Department, and currently Director of Healthcare Safety & Security for CarePoint Health Hoboken University Hospital. Brian's admired leadership career with the JCPD is unparalleled and his professionalism with coordinating my presentation for this event is truly appreciated.

Photos

1. U.S. Army Major Ryan Boeka (l) and U.S. Army Major Aaron Miller (r) lead West Point Cadets through Empty Sky, the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, April 14, 2016. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. West Point Cadets during change of class, April 3, 2006. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. Attendees at the National Conference on Ethics in America at West Point walking to conference presentations, October 20, 2008. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. West Point Honor Code monument at the USMA campus. (Vincent J. Bove)

More:

America’s Realignment: Character, Ethics, Leadership

America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

Life Lessons From the United States Military

Understanding Islam Is Essential to Community Policing

The FBI: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

Note Well:

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

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

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

Vincent is author of 175 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Columbine, Virginia Tech Anniversaries: Reverence, Vigilance, Prevention

As America commemorates the anniversaries of the Columbine High School and Virginia Tech tragedies on the fateful days of April 16 and 20 respectively, we must pause.

The events demand reverence for those who lost their lives and prayer for their families.

Vigilance, especially during these tragic anniversary times, is also in order. An abundance of caution must be the foundation of mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery principles of crisis management.

Columbine: A Snapshot

On April 20, 1999, two students killed 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, before committing suicide. The tragedy sparked a national response on school violence, bullying, character education, crisis planning, warning signs, police tactics, and firearms.

The tragedy continues to be analyzed due to its issues including the following:

• Diversionary tactics
• Propane tanks converted to bombs
• Nearly 100 explosive devices and bombs
• Firearms including a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun, a Hi-Point 995 Carbine 9mm, and a 9mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun.

Columbine, and other incidents, led to a U.S. Secret Service report that shared the following findings relative to pre-attack behavior:

• Incidents of targeted violence at school were rarely sudden, impulsive acts.
• Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack.
• Most attackers did not threaten their targets directly prior to advancing the attack.
• There is no accurate or useful profile of students who engaged in targeted school violence.
• Most attackers engaged in some behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern, or indicated a need for help.
• Most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Moreover, many had considered or attempted suicide.
• Many attackers felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack.
• Most attackers had access to and had used weapons prior to the attack.
• In many cases, other students were involved in some capacity.
• Despite prompt law enforcement responses, most shooting incidents were stopped by means other than law enforcement intervention.

Virginia Tech: A Snapshot

The serenity of Virginia Tech was shattered on April 16, 2007, with 32 students and teachers killed and 17 wounded.

This violence was particularly heart wrenching because it was preventable. But lessons were not learned from the Columbine tragedy and numerous government documents including the following:

• “Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools,” August 1998
• “The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States” by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education, May 2002
• “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities,” May 2003

Despite a student killing two students on the fourth floor of the West Ambler Johnston residence hall, there were no precautions taken by school administration for the possibility that other shootings may occur. It was more than two hours later when an email alert was sent to the entire campus, but no emergency actions, such as lockdown, were implemented. Reprehensibly, the email did not emphasize that two students were killed or that the shooter was still at large.

Virginia Tech was eerily reminiscent of the Columbine tragedy—whose eighth anniversary was to be commemorated in just four days. It would be later discovered that the killer was obsessed with the Columbine killings.

How is it conceivable that two people are killed on a college campus during the anniversary week of Columbine, with a killer at large and no lockdown implemented? The failure of leadership is inexcusable as nothing was done to prevent the additional killings and injuries over two hours later.

Also, despite the pleadings of a vigilant professor calling for help for this student who manifested severe, troubling warning signs, school officials failed to provide the proper intervention to protect the campus. Not only were there warning signs, but the university had been put on notice at least a year and a half before the incident.

America wake up: character education, warning signs, threat assessment, and crisis planning principles must be the order of the day.

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 175 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. This blog was published in the Epoch Times, April 17,2015 edition.

Photos

1. Mourners during Virginia Tech's Day of Remembrance honoring the 32 people killed in a mass shooting one year earlier, in Blacksburg, Va., on April 16, 2008. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

2. The cover of the study “Campus Attacks” released in April 2010. (Courtesy of FBI, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Secret Service)

3. Victims of violent crime by age. (Courtesy of U.S. Department of Education)

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Torture, Waterboarding Demand America’s Moral Realignment

Torture and waterboarding have been topics of conversation with current American presidential candidates, and issues of controversy that demand our moral realignment.

These issues involve intense emotionality but cooler heads must prevail, which is only possible with a proper understanding of natural law, ethical principles, and human decency.

The Natural Law: Foundation of Ethical Decisions

The natural law is engraved in to the heart of each rational person, beckoning them to make ethical decisions that benefit society and the common good.

Natural law is always governed by reason and it is universal to every human being.

Philosophically, human beings have the capacity to freely make decisions and the foundation of ethical choices must always complement the natural law.

Despite different places, times, and circumstances, natural law binds people of good will together. It has the capacity to overcome ignorance, hostility, and hatred.

Even with misunderstandings, as well as atrocities and acts of terrorism, the natural law must never be destroyed or removed from the heart of moral dignity.

The natural law is the foundation of ethical behavior, critical to the human community, and indispensable for civil law and societal harmony.

It is impossible for presidential candidates, government leaders, or anyone entrusted with authority over others to make correct moral decisions without a proper understanding of natural law and a dedication to its principles.

Abu Ghraib Torture Scandal: America’s Shame

During my past experiences with the National Conference on Ethics in America at the United States Military Academy (USMA), I had the privilege of sharing, as well as listening, to inspirational ethical principles by military, corporate, athletic, and student leaders.

During one presentation on October 22, 2007, Lt. General Franklin L. Hagenbeck, superintendent of the USMA at the time, honestly addressed the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

Hagenbeck stated that the scandal was a failure of ethical principles, the rule of law, justice, and integrity, defiling the U.S. Military reputation and our national honor.

Some fast facts on this shameful chapter of American history that violated natural law, human decency, and the honor deserving of our military, include the following:

• Abu Ghraib was a U.S. Army detention center for captured Iraq’s from 2003-2006, holding as many as 3,800 detainees.

• Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted of crimes relating to the scandal and a number of others were charged but not reprimanded.

• Abuses were depicted in graphic photographs that went viral, showing detainees being humiliated, tortured, and abused. The scandal was described by the secretary of defense at the time as “incidents of physical violence towards prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel, and inhuman.”

Fitting, Hagenbeck’s assessment of the abuse was followed by a presentation by Len Marella, a graduate of West Point, who stressed that we must rise above the current ethical crisis by “developing citizens of character, which is the most defining issue of our time and this [is] only possible when we seek to discover truth and decide what is right.”

Waterboarding: Issues and Response

Recently, Republican presidential candidates have addressed issues of torture and waterboarding.

One candidate stated, “Well, under the definition of torture, [waterboarding] no it’s not … It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.”

Another candidate, also misunderstanding natural law and ethical military conduct stated, “I have no doubt that it [waterboarding] works in terms of information and other things. And maybe not always. But I have no doubt it works.”

This candidate vowed he would bring back not only the practice of waterboarding but more.

These approaches are misguided as our nation must honor the natural law, and avoid any superficiality or desecration of its principles.

Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war who personally experienced episodes of torture, said about waterboarding, “These forms of torture not only failed their purpose to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the United States and our allies, but compromised our values, stained our national honor and did little practical good.”

Aside from McCain, CIA Director John Brennan has made it clear that his agency will not engage in harsh “enhanced interrogation” practices, including waterboarding – even if ordered to do so by a future president.

Brennan was unequivocal in his statement, “Absolutely, I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.”

Final Reflections

There are individuals who desecrate the natural law and violate human dignity. But America must carry the torch of ethical principles and never lower our standards to those who dishonor humanity's moral code.

Understanding natural law, Thomas Jefferson stated, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

America is one of the treasures of the world because of our respect for human rights, moral decency, and natural law.

Our nation clearly understands that contempt for human decency is a violation of our ethical principles deeply rooted in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

America must also understand that torture, using any form of physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, abuse opponents, or sadistically satisfy revenge, is a contradiction of our dignity and moral values.

Our country deserves a moral realignment highlighted by character, ethics, and leadership.

America will be on the path to reawakening the nation when the natural law, human dignity, and moral decency are honored, and done so without compromise.

More:

Lincoln’s Leadership Principles for Presidential Candidates

America’s Next President Demands an Ethical Protector

America’s President Must Have Character, Ethics, Leadership

America’s Next President Needs to Have Altruistic Leadership

America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

America’s Realignment: Character, Ethics, Leadership

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

Photo

An Iraqi man waits for the release of his relative detained in the Abu Ghraib prison, outside of Baghdad, Iraq, on May 21, 2004. (Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

America’s Deadly Drug Crisis Demands Moral Courage

There are staggering statistics of America’s drug abuse crisis that can appear sterile but the reality is human brokenness, family heartbreak, and shattered communities.

Opiods alone are killing nearly as many Americans as guns or auto accidents, an estimated 28,647 a year, or 78 people a day.

The drug crisis is fueled not only by dope pushers but doctors too easily prescribing painkillers and by the public ignorance regarding abuse, addiction, and deadly consequences.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are reaping billions of dollars in profit as many abuse the system with activities including doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions.

America’s response must be ignited by moral courage, the critical principle of effective leadership, so that the scourge of the drug abuse crisis is remedied.

Recent Deaths: A Partial List

These are only a few of the tragic incidents memorializing the human suffering associated with our drug abuse crisis:

Grand Prairie, TX: A heart-wrenching tragedy was in a published April 1 report and involved a mother, high on heroin, admitting to beating her 4-year-old daughter to death. The child, Leiliana Wright, died of blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen. Police say the mother admitted to shooting heroin and then repeatedly hit the child with a belt and bamboo stick after the girl drank her 18-month-old brothers’ juice.

Sacramento, CA: A March 31 report documented the death of an El Dorado Hills teen, who was the 29th recent case of overdose deaths related to fentanyl in the county. “We get a lot of overdose deaths every day, so you can’t automatically assume they’re related to fentanyl and hydrocodone pills,' said El Dorado County Office spokesperson Lt. Jim Beyers. “But we were advised … that it was confirmed fentanyl.”

Cheatham, TN: On March 26, a 17-year-old high school student died from what local law enforcement authorities stated as “We believe he drank a mixture of liquid morphine and Gatorade.”

Milwaukee, WI: A March 16 report noted that officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office finalized more than 250 drug-related deaths in the county in 2015. Perhaps the most startling fact of the report is that fentanyl deaths increased by 500 percent. Sara Schreiber, the forensic toxicology director emphasized the potency of fentanyl as “something that is prescribed for chronic pain. It's often given to cancer patients or patients suffering from a great deal of pain for a long period of time.”

Covington, LA: on March 13, 17-year-old Alexander James Shelly was found dead. Apparently, he and a friend were smoking synthetic marijuana when they both blacked out. When the friend woke up, investigators say, he found Shelly face-down in a flooded ditch.

Opiod Addiction: 2016 Facts and Figures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), America is experiencing an epidemic of drug abuse overdose deaths.

The CDC notes that since 2000, the “rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opiods.”

Since opiod abuse in on the rise, let us take a moment to address the crisis associated with this class of drugs.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), “opiods are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.

ASAM also notes the following in a 2016 facts and figures document:

• Of the 21.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2014, (2015 statistics are still being compiled) 1.9 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.

• It is estimated that 23% of individuals who use heroin develop opioid addiction.

• Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

• In 2014, 467,000 adolescents were current nonmedical users of pain relievers, with 168,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers.

• In 2014, an estimated 28,000 adolescents had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 16,000 were current heroin users. Additionally, an estimated 18,000 adolescents had a heroin use disorder in 2014.

Empowering America’s Youth to Turn the Tide

Although there are many approaches to our drug abuse crisis, let us spotlight the importance of empowering our youth as critical advocates to remedy the crisis.

In my signature presentation titled, “Be a Person of Character: Change the World,” which I have been privileged to present to thousands of middle school, high school, and college students, I honestly address the brokenness in society that has been compounded by the drug abuse crisis.

It is my firm conviction that honestly assessing this issue by showing the tragic consequences, and empowering our youth with the encouragement they need, will help defeat this crisis and change the course of the nation.

Final Reflections

America’s drug abuse scourge is inflicting unimaginable heartbreak to communities, families, and individuals.

We will be on the path to reawakening the nation when we respond from many perspectives, but include speaking heart-to-heart with our youth, especially through America’s schools.

America’s youth deserve the example, encouragement, and tools needed to use their energy to terminate our deadly drug abuse crisis.

More:

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

America’s Graduates: Transform the Nation With Character

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

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

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

As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.


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Monday, March 28, 2016

Terrorism Attacks Demand America’s Leadership

Terrorism is a depraved abomination representing the worst of humanity and a desecration to all that is moral, dignified, and honorable.

Each act of terrorism is an unconscionable assault against human rights and an act of cowardice.

It is a savage, brutal, and heinous barbarity that only cultivates suffering, brokenness, and sorrow.

The acceleration of terrorism acts throughout the world; inflicting unimaginable anguish to nations, communities, families, and individuals, demands condemnation from all people of good will, a full force resolve from every government, and the leadership of America.

Terrorism: Some Recent Atrocities

Recent acts of terrorism throughout the world demanding America’s leadership, include the following horrific, senseless, and reprehensible massacres:

Mar. 27: At least 72 people are killed and over 300 injured by a suicide bomber in Lahore, Pakistan. The terrorist targeted Christians, including children who were celebrating Easter near a playground.

Mar. 25: At least 30 people are killed and 65 wounded after a soccer game in Iraq.

Mar. 22: Three coordinated nail bombings occurred in Belgium; two at a Brussels airport, and one at a Metro Station. At least 35 people were killed and 340 injured.

Feb. 21: At least 83 people were killed and 180 wounded, including children leaving school, at a shrine in Syria.

Nov. 13, 2015: At least 130 people are killed and hundreds wounded during attacks in Paris by terrorists armed with assault rifles and explosives that targeted six locations throughout the city.

Terrorism Demands America’s Vigilance

In my article titled “Paris Terror Demands America’s Vigilance,” published in the Nov. 19, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, I argued that after the “contemptuous terror attacks throughout Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, America must enhance security awareness, training initiatives, protocols, and collaboration.”

The article honors the extraordinary dedication of the NYPD especially with the Critical Response Command (CRC), a new elite unit representing one facet of the department’s protection of high-profile targets throughout the city.

The CRC is complemented by the Joint-Terrorism Task Force, a top-notch group of over 100 NYPD detectives working with the FBI; and the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau, Intelligence Bureau, Domain Awareness System, and NYPD SHIELD.

The NYPD dedication is complemented by private security professionals that include protection efforts at museums, financial institutions, corporations, hospitals, properties, schools, residences, and colleges throughout the city.

But as acts of terrorism accelerate throughout the world; with the possibility of additional attacks here on our homeland, we must intensify our law enforcement, private security, and community collaboration. This unity of effort is critical for the protection of our nation, communities, and the very morale of America.

The continuous terrorist acts throughout the world prove that there are evil individuals ready to desecrate humanity’s moral code of respect for our neighbor, and America must exercise the leadership and moral courage to eradicate the threat.

Muslim Community Surveillance Controversy

Numerous politicians, as well as presidential candidates, are responding to the fears of terrorism, by recommending law enforcement initiatives.

Recommendations are only viable when there is consultation with respected law enforcement leaders, as the security of America demands collaboration, not inflammatory rhetoric.

The NYPD commissioner, William Bratton, has expressed his thoughts on the importance of not exploiting terrorism tragedies for political gain, especially his rightful condemnation of anyone calling for police to “patrol and secure Muslim communities before they become radicalized.”

Bratton’s credentials deserve attention and his advisement includes the following:

"We already patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods, the same way we patrol and secure other neighborhoods. When people call the police, we rush to help them. When people break the law, we move to arrest them. But no, we do not single out any populace, black, white, yellow, or brown for selective enforcement. We do not “patrol and secure” neighborhoods based on selective enforcement because of race or religion, nor will we use the police and an occupying force to intimidate a populace or a religion to appease the provocative chatter of politicians seeking to exploit fear…In New York City, we protect all communities from crime and terrorism — yes, Muslim communities too — because like us, they are Americans who own businesses, work hard, pay taxes, and dream of a better life for their children. Over 900 of them work in my police department as police officers, many of them in counterterrorism and intelligence. Many of them have served in the military and fought for their country. We police our city not by campaign slogans or inflammatory rhetoric, but by an old piece of parchment called the U.S. Constitution and another called the Bill of Rights.”

Final Reflections

The U.S. State Department “alerts U.S. citizens to potential risks of travel to and throughout Europe following several terrorist attacks, including the Mar. 22 attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIL. Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation.”

The department also warns that “U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays and at large festivals or events.”

America must also be vigilant here at home enhancing our situational awareness and hardening our targets, as these are essential qualities mandatory to safeguarding our homeland.

We must also have the moral courage to cultivate a unity of effort between public and private sectors, and every community member, with an enhanced dedication to building faith-based partnerships, critical to reawakening the nation.

More:

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets

Collaboration Key to Defeating Terrorism

Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America

Understanding Islam Is Essential to Community Policing


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

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

As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

Photos

1. Members of the NYPD Strategic Response Group and an NYPD officer stand guard in New York's Times Square on Nov. 18, 2015. Police officials said they've deployed extra units to crowded areas of the city in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

2. NYPD Commissioner William Bratton addressing the Critical Response Command (CRC), Nov. 16, 2015. (Courtesy NYPD News)

3. A Member of the NYPD Strategic Response Group and an NYPD officer in New York’s Times Square on Nov. 18, 2015. Police officials said they’ve deployed extra units to crowded areas of the city in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Priest Sexual Abuse Crimes: A Cry for Justice

Faith-based organizations often compound America's crisis of character with headlines of reprehensible crimes, including priest sexual abuse and cover ups in the Catholic Church.

As a practicing Roman Catholic who earned two Master’s degrees in theology from a Vatican institution, and as an educator, who served for 10 years throughout the United States as a Salesian of Don Bosco, I am fully committed to preventing abuse and remedying this scandal.

These theological credentials are complemented by over 20 years of training initiatives that I have conducted for law enforcement, including the FBI; always stressing respect for the law, transparency, collaboration, and justice.

Every act of child sexual abuse is immoral and criminal; and acts compounded by the secrecy, cover ups, indifference, and arrogance of bishops demands accountability.

Cover ups by bishops are acts of betrayal, scandal, and desecration that inflict additional wounds upon victims and society, breaking the bond of trust critical to community.

It is imperative that all people of moral decency make their voices in a cry for justice against these immoral and criminal acts.

Compassion for victims who are crying for healing, truth, and accountability is critical.

Pope Francis: Concern, Compassion, Courage

The current pope is the perfect catalyst at the right time for the Catholic Church as he is capable of inspiring necessary transformation.

Pope Francis is an inspirational shepherd, demanding the same from his bishops and priests. The pope is admired by believers as well as non-believers; for his concern, compassion, and courage-virtues that are critical for a transformational renewal of the Catholic Church.

During his visit to the U.S. on Sept. 27, 2015, Pope Francis exemplified character, truthfully addressing the bishops on the priest sexual abuse scandal at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Pope Francis passionately stated:

“I am deeply pained by the stories, the sufferings and the pain of minors who were sexually abused by priests. I continue to be ashamed that persons charged with the tender care of those little ones abused them and caused them grave harm. I deeply regret this. God weeps. The crimes and sins of sexual abuse of minors may no longer be kept secret; I commit myself to ensuring that the Church makes every effort to protect minors and I promise that those responsible will be held to account. Survivors of abuse have become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy; humbly we owe our gratitude to each of them and to their families for their great courage…”

Pennsylvania Priests/Bishops Scandal

According to a grand jury report made public on March 1, two Roman Catholic bishops helped cover up sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 priests and religious officials in Pennsylvania over the course of 40 years.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, who released the 147-page report, spoke more like a shepherd than the bishops entrusted with the protection of children.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane stated:

“The heinous crimes these children endured are absolutely unconscionable...These predators desecrated a sacred trust and preyed upon their victims in the very places where they should have felt most safe…Just as troubling is the cover-up perpetrated by clergy leaders that allowed this abuse to continue for decades..They failed in our society's most important task of protecting our children...At the very least we must continue to shine a light on this long period of abuse and despicable conduct.”

The report includes the following:

• Over many years hundreds of children have fallen victim to child predators wrapped in the authority of an honorable faith. As wolves disguised as the shepherds themselves-these men stole the innocence of children by sexually preying upon the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society and the Catholic faith.

• This is not an indictment of the Catholic religion or the Catholic Church. Many who testified and spoke out regarding the horror…are devout Catholics, as are members of this Grand Jury and Office of Attorney General investigative personnel.

• The Grand Jury finds the acts of the predator priest and their enabling Bishops to be criminal. However, they cannot be prosecuted at this time. The statute of limitations…has expired…abolish the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against minors.

• Suspend the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims for a designated and finite period of years.

• Possible criminal conduct should be reported directly to law enforcement authorities.

Archdiocese of Boston: America’s Priest Abuse Epicenter

Priest sexual abuse was detailed in the Office of the Attorney General (AG) of Massachusetts July 23, 2003 report titled, “The Sexual Abuse of Children in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.”

An overview of this scandal, detailed in my latest book titled “Listen To Their Cries,” emphasizes findings of the Massachusetts (AG), which also correlate to the Pennsylvania (AG) report, and includes the following:

• Top Archdiocese officials knew the extent of the clergy sexual abuse problem for many years before it came known to the public.
• The Archdiocese response to reports of sexual abuse of children, including maintaining secrecy of reports, placed children at risk.
• The Archdiocese placed children at risk by transferring abusive priests to other parishes.
• The Archdiocese failed to adequately supervise priests known to have sexually abused children in the past.

Final Reflections

The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to reprehensible criminal acts that “cry to heaven for justice.”

America's criminal justice system makes it clear that sexual abuse of children, and those involved with cover up, is criminal.

Only when we protect our children and hold individuals accountable, will America have authentic faith-based communities, and a moral reawakening of the nation.

More:

Attorney General Pennysylania Press Release, March 1, 2016
Grand jury: Hundreds of children sexually abused by priests in Altoona-Johnstown diocese

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 writes a weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photo

1. American flag at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, NYC, Jan. 31, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. An unidentified child, who was carried out from the crowd to meet Pope Francis, reaches out to touch the Pontiff's face during a parade on his way to celebrate Sunday Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, on Sept. 27, 2015. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ethical Guardians: Repudiating the Ferguson Effect

Law enforcement professionals are the ethical guardians of democracy who protect and serve communities throughout the nation.

The challenge to our law enforcement professionals is daunting as we continually witness violence, apathy, brokenness, cynicism, and callousness throughout society.

There is also a new term called the Ferguson effect, referring to police being passive under heightened security or concerns about being the next viral video.

Ethical Guardians: A Philosophical Principle

Policing is an honorable profession and as far back as the Greek philosopher Plato, (c. 428-347 BCE), ethical guardians were critical to democracy.

Plato argued that although there are many different professions in society; including farmers, builders, and clothiers, guardians were a unique class of citizens.

Plato defined guardians as those who protect society from its enemies and enforce its laws.

In Plato’s words, “It does not matter if the cobblers and masons fail to do their jobs well, but if the guardians fail, the democracy will crumble.”

Ethics: The Heart of Democracy’s Guardians

Complementing the concept of guardians is the demand that law enforcement professionals live by the highest ethical standards.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police includes these principles in its code of ethics:

“As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.

“I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others…

“…I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service…”

Developing Ethical Guardians

For Plato, the concept of developing guardians was inseparable from cultivating an ethical temperament which depended on a sound education that began in the earliest years of schooling.

America must revitalize ethics as the heartbeat of our society and make character education front and center in our schools again, as our youth are the future of America and critical to our democracy.

We must also support our law enforcement professionals and make sure they have world class ethical development, training, certifications, and ongoing programs respecting their demanding mission as ethical guardians.

Fallen Ethical Guardians: Honor, Respect, Dignity

All who cherish America must also remember our fallen ethical guardians with honor, respect, and dignity.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), there have been 13 firearms-related law enforcement fatalities as of March 14, an increase of 225 percent since this time last year.

One fatality was on March 13, with a Prince George’s County, Maryland police officer, 28-year-old Jacai Colson. Officer Colson was a four-year veteran of the department senselessly killed in what police call an “unprovoked attack” by an errant round during a firefight.

Three brothers will be charged with second-degree murder, six counts of attempted first-degree murder, nine counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and other charges.

The county’s state attorney, Angela Alsobrooks, passionately stated:

“Today we witnessed again an act of evil and cowardice, a new low in executing a defender of the community. Jacai was important to his family, and he is important to the community. We have another mother tonight who is without her son and for that we are deeply sorry…This crime is not just a crime against Jacai…murder is a crime against our entire community, the highest crime against humanity…this crime against our community will be treated as such…his life was precious, every life is precious…”

Final Reflections

Despite the so-called Ferguson effect, America’s ethical guardians are the lifeline of protecting our communities and we must not allow any exploitation of our democracy.

Law enforcement will rise to the occasion with the moral courage to find the way. They deserve an iron-clad collaboration from America’s law-abiding citizens, refusing to allow emboldened criminals to undermine our society.

We will be on the path to reawakening the nation and safeguarding our democracy when we work to instill ethics into the heart of America, and give our ethical guardians our unwavering support for their dedication to protect and serve.


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

As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

Photos:

1. NYPD providing escort during Good Friday procession in Manhattan near World Trade Center, Apr. 3, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. Plato. Luni marble, copy of the portrait made by Silanion c. 370 B.C. for the Academia in Athens. (Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia, CC BY 2.5)

3. NYPD on post in Times Square, NYC, Jan. 31, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. A police offficer stand at the scene of a midtown shooting that left one dead with two others wounded in New York City on Nov. 9, 2015. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

5. Officer Jacai Colson of the Maryland County’s police force. (Prince George’s County Police Department via AP)

MORE:

Policing Demands Ethical Sentinels

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

Police–Community Division: America Unite

Transforming American Policing: A Defining Moment

Ferguson’s Mission: Cultivate Community Policing

Building Police-Community Trust: Wake Up, America

Ferguson’s People-Police Chaos: America’s Warning

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Monday, March 07, 2016

Navy SEALS: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

On March 4, I attended the ASIS International New York City Chapter event with over 150 colleagues at the Yale Club in New York City.

For over 20 years, I have been involved with initiatives of this association, serving as a speaker and author, privileged to also have their board certified protection professional (CPP) designation.

ASIS International is a professional organization for security, law enforcement, and military professionals that issues certifications, standards, guidelines, and educational programs. These initiatives assist schools, colleges, workplaces, government entities, law enforcement, and the public.

The CPP credential provides a board certified demonstrable verification of knowledge, as well as management ability in eight key disciplines; security principles and practices, business principles and practices, investigations, personnel security, physical security, information security, crisis management, and legal aspects.

Although my experiences with ASIS International have always been motivational, the March 4 event was particularly inspirational due to the compelling patriotic keynote of Navy SEAL Britt Slabinski, Rtd.

America’s Navy SEALS

Navy SEALS are a unique breed of elite ethical protectors that conduct the most challenging, often clandestine military operations, especially with maritime environments.

SEALS is an acronym for sea, air, and land special operations.

The SEALS symbol is a trident, a coveted insignia with a golden eagle holding a navy anchor and flintlock-style pistol.

The trident is a sacred symbol proudly worn by Navy SEALS, and solemnly embedded into the wooden coffins of fallen SEALS as an expression of respect, brotherhood, and honor for those who deserve to never be forgotten.

The Ethos of the Navy SEAL includes these inspirational words:

“My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day. My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own. I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.”

Missions of the Navy SEALS

According to the www.navyseals.com website, the Navy SEALS are called upon to perform missions of critical importance to the United States:

Direct Action: Neutralize, Capture and Kill Enemy Forces-Offensive strikes against an enemy target using tactics like raids, ambushes and assaults.

• Special Reconnaissance: Observe and Report, Covert Intelligence-
Surveillance and reconnaissance operations to report on enemy activity or to provide a better understanding of the operational situation. These missions can include tracking of enemy units, monitoring military and civilian activity, and gathering information about beach and water conditions prior to a beach landing.

• Counter Terrorism: Eliminating Threats, Pre-Emptive Strike-Directing action against terrorist groups to prevent terrorist activities.

• Foreign Internal Defense: Training Allies-Training and assisting foreign counterparts to increase their capacity to respond to threats.

Britt K. Slabinski, Command Master Chief (SEAL), USN Ret.

As attendees entered the March 4 event, to hear keynote speaker Britt K. Slabinski, they were surrounded by posters of SEALS who offered the ultimate sacrifice serving America.

This moving tribute was further ignited by the passion, dignity, and eloquence of the speaker who addressed issues of honor, respect, and patriotism.

Slabinski, whose service as a Navy SEAL included over 400 combat deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism, is also recipient of the Navy Cross-an award for valor in combat, the Navy and Marine Corps Life Saving Medal, five Bronze Stars with Combat Valor distinguishing device, two Combat Action Ribbons, and numerous other commendations.

The immortal words of Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men's souls,” were used by Slabinski who stated “they apply not only to the American Revolution, but to contemporary challenges throughout the world.”

He also stressed the importance of honoring our flag, stating that it was a sacred symbol with thread representing each of us united together.

The oath he learned as a young eagle scout was also shared by Slabinski, who emphasized “On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country,” was his inspiration during the heroic incident that led to his being recipient of the Navy Cross.

Slabinski also stressed humility stating, “one must always remember that you are never too senior to be wrong or too junior to be right.”

Final Reflections

These are challenging times for democracy, freedom, and liberty and America is destined to be a model to the world of dignity, courage, and patriotism.

When each of us lives by a code of honor, represented by ethical guardians courageously dedicated to protecting America, we will be on the path to reawakening the nation.

More:
America’s Flag, Patriotism: Resuscitating Our Destiny

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

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

As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

Photos:

1. A SEAL delivery vehicle team (SDV) performs a fast-roping exercise from a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter to the topside of Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769). SDV teams use "wet" submersible vehicles to conduct 100 percent long-range submerged missions, or to secretly deliver SEALs and other agents onto enemy territory from a submarine or other vessel at sea, Jan. 17, 2005. (Photo Courtesy U.S. Navy by Journalist 3rd Class Davis J. Anderson)

2. Members of the Sea Air Land Team Five (SEAL5), from Golf Platoon, conduct an exercise in a Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) or Ridged Boat Inflatable Hull (RBIH). (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

3. Navy Special Warfare Trident insignia worn by qualified U.S. Navy SEALs. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

4. Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski, leader of all 2,500 active USN SEALS, Joint Special Operations Command (l), and Britt Slabinski, Command Master Chief, Rtd. (USN SEALS), recipient of the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in combat from the President of the U.S.(r), with Vincent J. Bove at the ASIS International NYC Chapter luncheon.

5. Members of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two (SDVT-2) huddle together inside a flooded Dry Deck Shelter mounted on the back of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hyman G Rickover (SSN 709). Dry Deck Shelters (DDS) provide specially configured nuclear powered submarines with a greater capability of deploying Special Operations Forces (SOF). DDSs can transport, deploy, and recover SOF teams from Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts (CRRCs) or SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDVs), all while remaining submerged. SDVT-2 is stationed at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., and conducts operations throughout the Atlantic, Southern, and European command areas of responsibility. Chief James Adams present to right in photo, May 7, 1984. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

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