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Honoring the thin blue line
(Published May 17, 2004)


Attorney General John Ashcroft stood before the crowd of men, women and children at the National Law Enforcement Memorial at Judiciary Square last week during National Police Week. The crowd was nowhere near the size of people marching against the IMF or with Million Moms or protesting choice with Planned Parenthood. The gathered came from across the ocean, Law Enforcement Officers in solidarity. Some bore roses in their hands. Others held hands, babies, grieving widows, widowers, orphans of officers who died defending America. A young mom walked by clutching her rose, a plush puppy dog purse hanging near her swollen belly, biting her lower lip, her toddler trundling behind her, These are the survivors of the enemy from within our shores, family of law enforcement officers brutally murdered, defending America.

I cried for them. I am a survivor of terrorism. I shared words that comforted me, with a surviving mom, sister and brother, "I understand your loss. His brutal murder is senseless. He will be sorely missed." They knew I knew.

You see, Jan. 29 of this year, I became a casualty of terrorism. The victim is my baby brother, Yechezkel Chezi Scotty Goldberg. Sort of funny to call him that, considering he was a large man, bearded and dad to seven children ages 18 months to 16 years old. Forever 41. "One day, his baby will be 42 and Chezi will still be 41," I told someone as tears spilled down my cheeks. Four months are gone by, the senselessness of his death does not leave. I touched hand, heart of the bereaved mom. "There is something else I found comforting." She looked up at me through her tears. "The pain doesnít leave. Ever." She understood.

My brother was commuting from outside Jerusalem to work in the Holy City. Somewhere along the journey, a bomb murderer climbed aboard Egged Bus 19, rerouted to create a security cordon for John Wolf, the U.S. envoy on the roadmap to peace. One block away from where Prime Minister Arial Sharon was meeting with Wolf, 24-year-old PNA officer Ali Jarah, detonated his bomb, next to my brother who was reading psalms. Grown men were sliced in half. Bodies were tossed into the streets. Heads, cut off from their bodies, rolled up the sidewalk, resting at the feet of passerbys.

The dead of Bus 19 have names. And faces. We must remember them and the almost one thousand other dead murdered in Israelís rash of recent terror. The enemies remember them. The fanatical leaders recreate terrorist attack sites from media pictures. They place them on Arab university campuses.

Bus 19 stood in D.C. on the National Day of Prayer. Jews for Jesus came by. The Neturai Karta came by. Not many others. I personally notified every synagogue within the tri-state area, and then some. I even spoke to the wife of the director of a Jewish committee. She was rushed. Her husband was in meetings. I told her the neshamahs, souls of Jewish murdered, including my brother, his minyan on Bus 19, no longer rushing, are the reason she could be in the D.C. Hilton hosting sessions paying attendees were packed into. Then she remembered she, too, has family in Israel she worries about. She never came to see what a bombed bus shell from Israel looks like. The enemy are remembering our dead. How can it be we are forgetting?

D.C. officers came by. They know an Israel bus looks like a D.C. bus. They know terrorism is expected here again. Men and women in the Pentagon canít forget. One man, when he walks the halls, sees ghosts of Pentagon staff murdered on 9/11.

Sept. 11, 2001, taught us that terrorists travel. Nicholas Berg reminded us where terrorists live. Berg showed bravado the United Nations didnít. People paid to do a job left at first bomb. An entrepreneur earning only if he produced, Berg went to Iraq, for historical relevance. He reminds us to look within ourselves, to look at Bus 19 as it travels America, a symbol of terrorism and to look at our sworn officers. Bergís murder and Bus 19 remind us to remember the only thing protecting the America our forefathers dreamt of is a thin blue line.

NOTE: Forever remember the Egged Eleven; they died so we can live in America. Rose Boneh (39), Anya Bunder (37), Anat Darom (23), Daran Itach (24), Eli Zfira (48), Natalia Gamril (53), Avraham Balhasan (28), Baruch Hondiashvili (48), Mehbere Kifile (35), Viorel Octavian Florescu (42), and my brother Yechezkel Chezi Scotty Goldberg (42).

Copyright 2004, The Common Denominator