A date which will live in infamy…

“All art is life but from an unexpected perspective.”  – Tom Avitabile 

Okay, so what did I mean by that? The need for art in our lives gives us perspective on our lives. Some call this an artist’s eye. It’s also the writer’s eye, ear, and sensibility. While book coaching, I am often compelled to suggest or force a perspective on my clients to elevate their craft to a level of art. And it is in that new perspective, I have seen them make magic happen, with more colors, more texture, tones, and motifs. So, look for a unique point of view. How does it look from over here? From above or across the street?

The best part for writers is finding the perfect word to fit their unique perspective. I learned this from President Franklin Roosevelt. On the worst day of his presidency, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, he had to speak before Congress. In preparation and right before his declaration of war to Congress, he suddenly saw the whole thing from a different perspective, so he edited the line, “December seventh, 1941, a date that will live in world history, the United States of America….” He grabbed his pen, crossed out world history, and scribbled in the word ‘infamy.’ That changed the perspective forever! Below is his actual speech from the Archives.

President Franklin Roosevelt's Message to Congress Pearl Harbor

Eleven Years Later, A 9/11 First

This symbolic act of bringing together, for the first time, two days of
infamy, 60 years apart, connects both events with all that is good about
America.

Today, September 11th, 2012, at 6:00 a.m. I had a very rare and distinct honor. I was asked to be a part of a very special sunrise tribute at Ground Zero to those who fell on 9/11/2001 and to those who continue to die from the illnesses inflicted on them during their selfless acts of rescue and recovery. It was a small gathering of fire fighters, veterans and first responders who embarked on a very special mission on this very special day.

Starting at dawn’s early light, twenty flags bearing the names of those who died, and the first responders who sacrificed their lives, were consecrated at the base of the new World Trade Center. Then this small entourage headed for a waiting plane at JFK. In 10 and half hours they will land in Oahu, Hawaii and at 6 p.m. local Hawaiian time they will again consecrate those flags at a sunset ceremony at Pearl Harbor.

On both days, 12/7/1941 and 9/11/2001 there were acts of bravery, humanity and selflessness, known and never to be known, performed by military, first-responders and civilians alike, against a backdrop of fire, smoke, death and destruction. Through those dark clouds over Pearl Harbor and the choking dust in lower Manhattan, the silver lining of the human spirit, and the uniquely American glow surrounding it, is what we paid tribute to from today’s sunrise to sunset.

This event was organized by the Gear Up Foundation, itself born on the pile at Ground Zero and dedicated to helping those who served there as well as spreading American good will around the world, one fire company at a time. They accomplish this with their programs that recycle surplus fire trucks, firefighting equipment and instruction from America to other places in the world where it is sorely needed.

When you stand at Ground Zero, or The Arizona Memorial at Pearl, on any day, but more so on this day, the spirit of the thousands who perished here overcomes you. The echoes of the bombs and torpedoes and the reverberation of collapsing buildings surround you. Yet at the same time, the rise of the human spirit, displayed on these days, energizes you. It’s cliché, but America’s worst days, brought out the best of the American spirit.

Pearl Harbor – Coming to a Backyard Near You

The fiction in my novels are becoming reality.  The government talks about a modern day Pearl Harbor but it's a much larger threat than that.The name of this blog is “It’s Only Fiction ‘Til it Happens.” Elsewhere, in other posts, I’ve explained how that (U.S. Patent Office Registered) line, my tagline, came to be. Today’s another example. The headline reads, “Leon Panetta Warns of Cyber Pearl Harbor – ‘The Capability to Paralyze This Country is There Now’” Well, Mr. Panetta, it was actually there awhile ago, when I wrote The Eighth Day. That’s why a top government official said, “Frighteningly realistic. Homeland security had better read this one!”

I’m patting myself, and other authors who delve into the threat matrix as a plot point, on our collective backs. This headline proclaiming that the Secretary of Defense is finally catching on is actually “news speak” for, “We’re about to get hit, and hit really hard, in a way that will affect all of us.” The headline is misleading, in that Pearl Harbor is not the proper analogy, because Pearl Harbor was essentially a military attack on our navy. What the next cyber attack will do is take out everybody’s internet. Take out everybody’s bankbook. Take out everybody’s electric power. Take out everybody’s ability to function in our newly defined digital world. And that is a million times bigger than Pearl Harbor.

Continue reading “Pearl Harbor – Coming to a Backyard Near You”