Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The CIA Memorial Wall: Honoring American Patriots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CIA Memorial Wall: Hallowed Ground

There are places throughout America that demand reverence without compromise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stars on the Memorial Wall

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

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

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

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

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

Memorial Wall Honorees: A Partial List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

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Monday, January 16, 2017

In Memoriam: NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, American Hero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYPD Icon: Detective Steven McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Reflections: NYPD Commissioner’s Tribute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos

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

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Building Police-Community Collaboration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Policing Report: U.S. Department of Justice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photos

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

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

American Government Requires Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leadership is critical to every segment of American society.

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

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

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

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

Government Leaders: Serve the People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slashing Ethical Oversight: Self-Serving Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photos

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

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

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Visionary American Leadership: Champion for the Poor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Champion of the Poor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Poverty: Facts and Statistics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo

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

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

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

Related Coverage:

America’s Forgotten Homeless: Awareness, Compassion, Dignity

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chicago Crisis of Violence Demands Visionary Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sobering Reality of Chicago’s Violence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago: America’s Violence Epicenter

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

The violence has intensified with heartbreaking headlines memorializing the carnage.

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

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

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

Final Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Global Terror Casualties Requires America’s Vigilance at Home

During my presentations and published works over the last 20 years, I have continually encouraged leadership, vigilance, and collaboration.

These principles are critical to protecting America’s interests and safeguarding our homeland.

In my Nov. 19, 2015 article for the Epoch Times titled “Paris Terror Demands America’s Vigilance,” I called upon America to enhance security.

Security must include ongoing training, certifications for the public and private sectors, preparedness initiatives, and collaboration.

The article addressed the reprehensible attacks throughout Paris on Nov. 13, 2015 and stressed vigilance.

My definition of terrorism was memorialized in the article as “a contemptuous evil against life, justice, and charity as well as a cowardly assault against human rights, moral law, and the dignity of humankind.”

The article also condemned those who use religion to commit atrocities. It stressed that “the true hallmark of any person who proclaims a life of faith is manifested through honoring the dignity of every human person.”

Terrorism was describled as the heinous, barbaric, and cowardly act it is because it desecrates the sacred.

Relentless Wave of Terror

The accelerating terror attacks decimating families and communities worldwide continues with no end in sight.

Attacks throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Europe remind us of the meltdown of moral decency inflicting humanity and the consequences of unleashed depravity.

The despicable realities of terrorism are continually manifested when people are attacked while assembling for the most ordinary of human activities.

Recently, horrific blasts occurred in major cities thousands of miles apart with innocent people paying the ultimate price by these senseless attacks.

Terror attacks are unceasingly reminding us that anyone can be a victim. An attack can occur anyplace, and at anytime.

Places once considered sacrosanct, including parks, schools, workplaces, shopping centers, and even houses of worship are potential terror targets.

Recent Terror Attacks

The globe has become a very small place, and although these attacks occurred on distant shores, they remind us that humankind is inseparable. Each person who walks this earth is mystically connected by the bonds of humanity and all people of good will deserve security.

Vigilance must be the focus of our activities and each of us is called to have the mindset of an ethical guardian.

These recent terror attacks must be reminders to remain vigilant and continually heighten our security awareness and preparedness:

Istanbul, Turkey – on Dec. 10, two blasts, about a mile apart killed at least 44 people, most of them police officers. Additionally, about 150 people were wounded. The attacks took place after a heavily attended soccer game. This attack is a reminder to law enforcement that they are often a target. Police must follow strict security protocols regarding their assembling in large groups in easily accessible public domains. It is also critical that law enforcement responders to incidents remain highly vigilant. The first incident may be planned to set the stage for a secondary attack against them.

Cairo, Egypt – a bomb detonated in the women’s section of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral during Sunday morning mass. The explosion killed at least 25 people and injured dozens more.

Magadishu, Somalia – at least 20 people were killed and 15 injured after a car filled with explosives rammed into the main entrance of a port. Like the Istanbul attack, this also targeted police according to a law enforcement official.

Terror attacks on distant shores cannot be understood as insignificant to America. These attacks remind us of the heinous consequences of terrorism. Every attack demands assessment and must encourage our nation to continue review and enhance security.

America’s security mindset must include hardening soft targets with implementing sound countermeasures. These include security vulnerability assessments, background checks, investigations, training, warning sign reporting and swift intervention, physical security, personnel security, procedural security, and informational / cybersecurity.

Strengthening America’s Trauma Centers

As I conclude this article, I would like to address our nation’s trauma centers and encourage America to strengthen their security and resources to serve communities. Our trauma centers will be critical in the event of a terror attack.

The report titled “U.S. Trauma Center Preparedness for a Terrorist Attack in the Community” is a must read.

This report, developed by the National Foundation for Trauma, deserves study by law enforcement officials, private security professionals, public safety representatives, and hospital administrators.

Recommendations in the report showing areas for improvement include the following:

• Provide adequate funding to trauma centers based on their proximity to hazards and threats.
• Spread authority and information about planning and implementation.
• Improve surge and decontamination capacity, particularly in regions with high vulnerability.
• Plan for family members of patients and staff.
• Sustain operational capacity for more than 3 days.
• Provide after-care for chronically ill patients and displaced persons.

Aside from these recommendations, the report highlights commonalities of exceptional disaster programs worthy of notice.

These programs include exemplary leadership principles, significant and ongoing disaster preparedness planning, and extraordinary collaboration with the public, private, and military.

America must remain vigilant, with eyes wide opened to incidents world-wide and on our homeland.

We must remember that to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Related Coverage:

Terrorism Demands Police-Community Unity

Terrorism Attacks Demand America’s Leadership

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets

Note Well:

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

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

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

Photos

1. NYPD, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Feb. 28, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. NYPD, Times Square, NYC, Jan. 17, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. A woman reacts at the site of an explosion where flowers have been placed for the victims of the Dec. 10 blasts, outside Besiktas' Vodafone Arena football stadium on Dec. 13, 2016 in Istanbul. Twin blasts hit Istanbul on December 10, 2016 killing 37 police officers and seven civilians. (OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Pearl Harbor’s 75th Anniversary: Reawakening America

On Dec. 7, America reverently pauses to commemorate National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and the 75th anniversary of the attack.

Pearl Harbor must eternally remind America, and the world, of our resilience, resolve, and patriotism.

During this milestone commemoration, America must reflect, and rededicate ourselves without reserve. Our sacrosanct principles of freedom, liberty, and democracy must guide our moral compass.

We must reawaken the enduring character of America, expressed through the sacrifice, courage, and determination of our nation.

America must forever remember the sacrifices of the fallen.

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

The 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor must also inspire a renewed admiration of our “greatest generation.”

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) proclaimed, the “date which will live in infamy” must be seared into the soul of every person privileged to call America home.

The event that thrust America into World War II, and defined our unwavering defense of moral decency will indeed “live in infamy.”

The fires of our patriotism must perpetually burn our hearts, and light the path to the world for peace.

Inspiring World Peace

Understanding our past and the consequences of events enables insight, understanding, and wisdom.

These are characteristics that are critical to preventing future turmoil, conflicts, and wars.

America, and every nation of the world, must reflect on Pearl Harbor and the catastrophic events of World War II. We must learn from the past and have a full force commitment to working with one another to inspire peaceful solutions to our differences.

Our nation must continually be dedicated to the 71 years of peaceful coexistence between Japan and America.

Both nations must inspire hope for a bright future for nations currently engaged in division, conflict, and turmoil.

“Remember Pearl Harbor”

Although Dec. 7, 1941 began as a typical Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, events would quickly unfold to make it a defining day in American history.

The fast facts surrounding the attack on the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Headquarters on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu include these from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans:

• Shortly before 8 a.m., Japan launched approximately 200 planes form six aircraft carriers. This ignited their first planned phase of Operation Hawaii, forever immortalized as “the attack on Pearl Harbor” or “Pearl Harbor.”

• This was a surprise, unprovoked attack that stunned America, which was focused on events in Europe and Hitler’s morally despicable war of conquest.

• The U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor suffered severe devastation including damage or destruction to 18 ships. These included the battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, California, Nevada, and West Virginia.

• More than 2,400 U.S. service personnel were killed.

• The attack, contrary to the devastation inflicted, unified America. Until then, the nation was divided by pro-war “Hawks” and anti-war “Isolationists.”

• On Dec. 8, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, FDR addressed Congress. The president demanded a declaration of war with his immortalized “Day of Infamy” speech. FDR received resounding, unified support with a vote of 82-0 in the Senate and 388-1 in the House.

America was united and dedicated to a complete and unconditional victory. The collaborative rallying cries throughout WWII was “We’re All in this Together” and “Remember Pearl Harbor.”

Final Reflections

At the end of my presentations, I take time to honor all American military personnel who have offered the ultimate sacrifice.

This tribute includes the story of an American soldier killed in Iraq whose internment ceremony I attended at Arlington National Cemetery.

But any patriotism I have inspired, pales in significance to the honor expressed through the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association (PHSA).

The PHSA, officially recognized by the United States Congress, is dedicated to ensure all generations of Americans remain cognizant of Pearl Harbor.

As detailed on their website, may the words of Houston F. James, a Pearl Harbor survivor, reignite the fire of America’s character:

“Destiny ordained that you be permitted a journey to the jaws of hell.

“Destiny allowed you to observe the horrors of war.

“Destiny has granted you the privilege of a continued journey through life.

“Destiny will ask you to remember each time you hear the word survivor, you’ll remember and be thankful.”

Related Coverage:

Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

Memorial Day: Honor the Fallen, Widows, Orphans

America’s Flag, Patriotism: Resuscitating Our Destiny

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.

Photos

1. U.S. Arizona, Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. (World War II Museum/U.S. Navy)

2. Battleship row, Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. (World War II Museum/U.S. Navy)

3. Pearl Harbor Survivor Houston F. James with United States Marine. (Photo Credit: Pearl Harbor Survivors Association)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Honoring American Immigrants: Family, Neighbors, Heroes

America is a land of immigrants who enrich our nation with their talents, sacrifices, and character.

Immigrants represent the ideals, principles, and freedom of our country and are represented by our families, neighbors, and heroes.

Prior to sharing these words, I held in my hands a document very sacred to me. It is a detailed copy of my family tree, complete with names, dates of birth as well as deaths where applicable, and a meticulous layout of the connections between each family member.

This family tree begins with Joseph Nicolosi Cirrito, one of my great grandfathers, who was born in 1858 and died in 1941 at the age of 83.

Adjacent to his name is the name of his wife, my great grandmother Gaetiena (maiden name of Boscarelli), who was born in 1875 and who died from Spanish Influenza in 1918 at the age of 43.

Both of these great-grandparents (my grandmothers parents) were immigrants, representative of millions who came to America, beckoned by the words inscribed at the base 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!"

Joseph and Gaetiena had the fire of America’s greatness in their souls, inspired by our nation’s promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” memorialized as inalienable rights. This promise is the heart of our Declaration of Independence, one that demands protection by our government and respect for human dignity.

The grandparents on my grandfather's side of the family were also immigrants from the city of Afragola, Italy.

My great-grandfather Luigi Rufino and his wife Maria Rufino (maiden name of Pannone) also came to America and lived their dream of devotion. They were great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and dedicated members of their community of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

As memorialized by documents in the possession of his grand-daughter Bonnie, Luigi Rufino was always working hard to provide for his family. His profession is listed as a mason, but he also had a candy store and peddled vegetables.

Luigi's last job was the fireman at United Hospital on 189th Street in the Bronx. He was responsible for shoveling coal into the furnace to keep the fire burning before oil and gas heat became so prevalent.

After a heart attack, Luigi retired from this job of serving the patients, staff, and visitors of the hospital.

The Bronx: A Melting Pot

Although privileged to have outstanding educational credentials, I believe growing up in the Bronx with the richness of its diversity is one deserving notation on a curriculum vitae.

This experience allowed the world to be at my doorstep, expressed through countless encounters with classmates, friends, neighbors, and community.

My neighborhood was a melting pot with international representation. It was filled with people of every conceivable religion, culture, and language.

The goodness of these people, exemplified through their smiles, courtesy, and countless acts of charity is eternally etched in my memory.

Immigrants Securing America

During one of my career experiences, I managed security professionals for over 12 years at sites demanding extreme professionalism, vigilance, and commitment.

Before employment, these security professionals, many of whom were immigrants, went through a rigorous hiring procedure including meticulous review of government credentials, federal and state fingerprint checks, previous employment verification, an integrity exam, and drug testing.

I personally interviewed and conducted checks of these requirements for hundreds of security personnel and then assigned them to secure some of America’s most well-known clients. These clients represented corporate and residential properties, banks, hospitals, media, and retail enterprises.

A world map was proudly maintained in my office with pins representing these security professionals working for me who were from around the world.

These officers, many of whom were eventually promoted to supervisors and managers, protected property, people, and information. They provided leadership for emergencies including evacuations. Essentially, they protected our homeland, with many receiving commendations at award ceremonies for exemplary conduct, meritorious actions, and outstanding service.

Immigrant Medal of Honor Recipients

America must be forever grateful for the many heroes who died serving our nation, including those not born on our soil.

Over 20 percent (over 700) of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients in U.S. wars have been immigrants.

The official guide to this medal notes, “Those who have received the Medal of Honor since it was established in 1861 as the nation’s highest decoration are as different as the melting pot of our country.”

One recipient was Mercario Garcia from Mexico who after recovery from a D-Day wound, single-handedly took two enemy machine-gun nests on Nov. 27, 1944.

Only after protecting his unit from this danger, despite being shot in the shoulder and foot, did Mercario allow himself to be evacuated for medical care.

Final Reflections

Today, there is a frenzy of emotion on immigrants and the role America must play with this issue that involves the security of our borders.

Solving this issue is achievable and critical to reawakening the nation. But the fact remains that America is a great land because of the values, vision, and service of countless immigrants.

Immigrants are our families, neighbors, and heroes and we must be forever honor their contributions to America.

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

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing. This blog was updated from its original publication on Aug. 24, 2016 to include a photo of my grandmother's parents, Luigi and Maria Rufino. Both of them immigrated to America from Afragola, Naples.


Photos

1. Statue of Liberty, (Dominique James)

2. My great grandparents Joseph with his second wife. His first wife was Gaetiena Cirrito (maiden name of Boscarelli). Joseph was born in 1858 and died in 1941 at the age of 83. Gaetiena was born in 1875 and died in 1918 at the age of 43 from Spanish Influena. Joseph and Gaetiena are the parents of my grandmother Catherine, who was married to my grandfather Vincent Rufino.

3. An illustration of immigrants on the steerage deck of an ocean steamer passing the Statue of Liberty from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, July 2, 1887. (National Park Service)

4. Luigi and Maria Rufino (maiden name of Pannone) with their daughter Maggie. They were the parents of my grandfather Vincent whose had brohters named Mario and Joseph, and a sister named Maggie. (Courtesy of Cissy Rufino)

5. President Harry Truman awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to Mercario Garcia in 1945. (Photo Credit National Archives and Records Administration

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Monday, November 28, 2016

America's Fallen Officers: Compassion, Vigilance, Unity

America is the land of the free and home of the brave.

This is only possible because of those who serve and protect our cherished way of life.

Service for America includes those making sacrifices in our armed forces, and all law enforcement officials protecting our communities.

America must appreciate all of them, as well as the sacrifices of their families and communities.

We must be fully dedicated to renewing our nation, and preventing the unleashed violence must be our priority.

The antidote to this violence in our communities requires compassion, vigilance, and character.

Alarming Statistics: Perilous Times

According to statistics documented on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), these are indisputably perilous times for law enforcement.

As of Nov. 28, the preliminary 2016 law enforcement officer fatalities have a 61 percent increase of firearms related fatalities.

This sobering statistic is not only a challenge to law enforcement throughout America, but a grave concern to their families. It must also be a concern to all of us.

Our law enforcement communities are the ethical sentinels of civilized society, separating us from chaos, anarchy, and turmoil.

America must appreciate the service of all who protect and serve and stand united with them.

The dangers faced by law enforcement are exacerbated by the devastating spike in ambush-style attacks against them.

This year, one-third of law enforcement officers shot to death on the job, were purposely targeted by their killers, according to the NLEOMF.

Police Officers are Community Members

Statistics can become sterile, cold, and impersonal if we fail to remember that they represent Americans who have grieving families, friends, colleagues, and communities.

Here are just a few fallen law enforcement heroes from 2016, whose dedication to protect and serve represents the best of all of us:

Police Officer Collin James Rose – a member of the Wayne State University Police Department. Officer Rose was shot and killed on Nov. 23. while detaining a suspicious individual. He was the 61st officer killed in the line of duty in 2016 and he seventh of the year for the state of Michigan.

Detective Benjamin Marconi – a member of the San Antonio (TX) Police Department. Detective Marconi was shot and killed on Nov. 20 while conducting a traffic stop. He was the 60th law enforcement officer to be shot and killed this year and the 18th officer fatality for the year in the state of Texas.

Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers – a member of the U.S. Marshalls Service. Deputy Commander Carothers was shot and killed on Nov. 18 while attempting to serve a warrant in Long County, Georgia.

Deputy Sheriff Dennis Wallace - a member of the Stanislaus County (CA) Sheriff’s Department. Deputy Sheriff Wallace was shot and killed while responding to a call about a suspicious car and person.

Police Officer Scott Bashioum – a member of the Canonsburg Borough (PA) Police Department. Officer Bashioum was shot and killed in an ambush attack while responding to a domestic disturbance.

Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo – a member of the New York Police Department (NYPD). Sergeant Tuzzolo was shot and killed on Nov. 4 while responding to a robbery call. He was the third officer shot and killed in the state of New York in 2016.

These officers, along with all the fallen, and all of their families, deserve our unwavering compassion, respect, and prayers. They are not only those dedicated to protect and serve, but members of our families and communities.

Final Reflections

After the Columbine High School tragedy, I conducted presentations throughout America to prevent school, campus, and university violence.

During these presentations, I addressed the culture of violence taking place nationwide. It was my concern, shared with many audiences, that incidents of violence would not only increase, but America would lose its outrage.

The tragedy being witnessed in America is that school, campus, and university incidents are indeed becoming the norm. Parenthetically, a tragedy is unfolding at Ohio State University as I write this article.

This reprehensible violence, is now compounded with the senseless killing of our police officers, which is also tragically becoming the norm.

This is a sobering commentary of violence in America, and the violence must end.

Only when America realizes that law enforcement is critical to the safety and security of our communities, and we give them the support they deserve, will we be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage:

Fallen Officers Demand America’s Reawakening

Dallas Police Tragedy: Healing, Unity, Renewal

Policing Dangers Demand Community Collaboration

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.

Photos

1. NYPD Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo funeral procession, Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo Credit NYPD)

2. Memorial for Detective Benjamin Marconi. (Photo Credit San Antonio Police Department)

3. Lisa Tuozzolo, wife of the late Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo is escorted by a high ranking New York Police Department officer, at the conclusion of Tuozzolo's Mass of Christian Burial at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Massapequa, New York, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo Credit / Associated Press)

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

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