Sunday, December 25, 2011


They say that you never know who your true friends are until you've been hit with tragedy and you really need their support. Over the past several years, I have learned the hard way that there is nothing more true. Hala and I have been blessed with a loving and caring family and many steadfast friends and supporters.

This Christmas and holiday season, on behalf of my entire family, I want to say thank you to all of them. Thank you for your notes, letters, books and cards, and most importantly, thank you for being there for my family when I could not be.

As horrible as this has been for all of us, in some strange way, I thank God for giving me the opportunity to see what I have over the past several years. Having run two of the largest law enforcement organizations in the world with unparalleled success and achievement, my own incarceration has contradicted much of what I once believed about the federal criminal justice and prison system. There is no tour you can take, no inspection you can do, no crystal ball you can look into to see the system's successes, flaws or failures. They can only be seen from within. For someone who knows how the system is supposed to work, and what it is supposed to accomplish, it has been more than an eye opening experience, one that I will never forget and will use to the best of my ability to bring about much-needed reform once I am released.

Until then, I spend my days writing, exercising, reading, and teaching.

I've lost sixty to seventy pounds since October 2009. Although I have always tried to stay fit and in shape, nothing comes close to this, at least since I was in my 30s. Three days a week, it's push ups...on a good day 800 - 1,000, and on a bad day, 500 - 600. Not bad, considering I started out at 50. On the opposite days, it's squats, sprints and stairs.

I've read more books since I've been here than I have in my entire life, two a week, sometimes three, unless it's one of those big beefy ones like the biographies on Steve Jobs, Arial Sharon, or Condoleezza Rice. I've read just about every book written on our criminal justice system. Although many of these books are not normally read by the general public, I'd urge every American to read Angela J. Davis' Arbitrary Justice, Andrew Napolitano's Constitutional Chaos, Alan Elsner's Gates of Injustice; Tyranny of Good Intentions, by Roberts and Stratton; and Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman, a brilliant woman who captured the realities of living within the federal prison system for a year.

When you're feeling down and out, or you think you've had a rough day, there are two books you should read that will definitely put things back into perspective: Night, by Eli Weisel and Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankel. I'm convinced that these two men are living examples of the old saying, "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." For me, they have given me strength and been some of my greatest inspiration.

The class I teach here is a Life Lessons class in which I've outlined much of what I've learned throughout my lifetime: my successes and failures, rights and wrongs, goods and bads, and just about life itself. For me, the most important part of this class is trying to make sure that the men I teach will never return to prison. I do my best to help them overcome the obstacles they now must face, such as living with the life-long label of being a convicted felon. Unfortunately, the system not only degrades and demoralizes many of these men, but the convicted felon label destroys their chances for real employment or a full second chance in life. I help them know the world they will face upon release so that they will not be overtaken by depression, cynicism and hopelessness.

There are bad people that belong in prison and behind bars, some longer than others. For those that pose the greatest danger and threat to society, perhaps forever. However, many of the men that I have met here, and thousands more in the system, are non-violent first-time offenders, who pose no threat to society at all. Yet they are being imprisoned for years on end when they could be punished by alternatives to incarceration such as probationary sentences, fines, penalties, community service, and home confinement or house arrest. In doing so, they could be working, paying taxes, taking care of their families and paying their fines and restitution. The American taxpayer would save the burden of the $28,000 per year per inmate for their imprisonment but, more importantly, would reap the reward of their taxable income and economic spending, which is billions of dollars over the reported cost of incarceration

I serve my time along with, for example, a 60 year old attorney, serving five years on an immigration violation, a 22 year old U.S. Marine serving three years for selling his own night vision goggles on eBay, a 55 year old businessman serving seven and a half years on an SEC violation, a 33 old bank vice president who sent an email he shouldn't have and is serving 36 months, and a 19 year old kid from D.C. serving 10 years for a low level drug offense. They are all non-violent, first-time offenders the system is destroying.

In our attempt not to look "soft on crime," prosecutors are insisting on maximum prison sentences. Judges bound by mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines, then impose these draconian sentences on non-violent first time offenders. Justice, society, the economy and most important their children and families would quite often be better served by an alternative to incarceration. As I said, it's been an eye-opening experience.

Back at home, Celine, at 11 years old now, is 5'9". Another two inches, and she'll be taller than me. Angelina, age 9, has had an amazing growth spurt as well, but hopefully she keeps it under 5'10", so I don't feel like I'm shrinking. Both of them are doing quite well in school (they have their mother's brains), and are as beautiful on the inside as out.

Angelina is starring in her school's Christmas play, Beauty and the Beast, with a solo singing spot. Her quick wit and intelligence is a bit scary for a 9 year old. Sometimes I feel like I'm dealing with an adult. In a recent note she sent me, she said, "I hope this is the last Christmas at the stink bug farm," and for a moment I had to wonder what she was talking about. Then it dawned on me. At the end of last summer there was a major problem here in Maryland with stink bugs, so every time she would come visit, she'd be upset by our unwanted company. Thus, the "stink bug farm." Not only is she quick witted, she has an unbelievable memory!

Celine recently received her school's Patriot of the Month Award, chosen by her teachers for excellence in character. Last year at her prior school, she ended the year receiving the Matt Larson Award, named in honor and memory of Mathew James Larson, who at 7 years old, lost a five year battle with brain and spinal tumors. The award's recipient is chosen by teachers and parents for the one child in the school who reflects the principles by which Matt lived his life - overcoming adversity while doing all he could for others.

I couldn't be more proud of both of the girls, and there is nothing that pains me more than not being there for them when they have really needed me.

The past year has been difficult for both of them...they lost a beloved uncle who died unexpectedly and way too young at 50; and then Duke, one of our German Shepherds, died as well. Not being there then, or for their school plays, sporting events, parent-teacher conferences, Back to School nights and things like that has been my greatest punishment.

For any father who loves his children as I do mine, this time is torture. Even with the support group that Hala and I have around them that others may not have, the nightmare of this time and place haunts them more than anyone would know. Even me. I had no idea.

After a recent visit to see me, Celine spoke to a family friend and told her the pain she felt watching other children in the visiting room who were visiting their parents in prison. She said she wanted to write a book about her experience, so that should could help others. When I first learned of her conversation and her desire to write a book, I was pleased by her intent, but I've got to admit, my pleasure was short-lived when I heard what she wanted to title the book and why: "Don't Forget About Us," a title she chose because she believes judges and others don't really care about the children who are left behind. Her torment is heart wrenching for me, and that is coming from a little girl who is blessed with an enormous family and endless friends. If that is how she feels, what about those children who aren't so lucky?

My son, Joe, has had his ups and downs this last year as well, but nothing was as hard as losing one of his closest friends, Newark Detective Michael Morgan, who was shot and killed recently during an armed robbery. I've been there and know that feeling. In the aftermath of Mike's death, I tried to talk Joe into considering another place to work other than Newark, and he wouldn't hear of it. Newark, Jersey City or New York City... those are the only places he said he'd be happy. I've been there too, so for now, I guess I'll just keep my mouth shut and continue to pray for his safety and those who work with him.

This past year has been one of the most difficult in my lifetime, but it's not because of what most people would think. What has been most stressful for me is not being home when I was needed, not knowing what is happening, not having the ability to tuck in the girls or kiss them good night and being there when something goes wrong. However, I, unlike many men in my circumstance, have had a rock to lean on and someone to pick up the slack. Hala has been like Wonder Woman, holding down the fort with grace and unbelievable strength. Our children have been blessed with a mother who could not be better than the one they have and things would be unbearable without her.

The strength of every marriage is tested by circumstances, some of which we can control, and some of which we cannot. Mine has been tested over and over again, much of which has been my own fault. In the past many months, I have witnessed countless numbers of wives say goodbye to their husbands, or just disappear. It has ripped many of these men to shreds, but more so, it has helped me understand how lucky I am. I have been blessed with a wife who not only has stood by me, but has shined bright through our darkest times. To her, I owe my all.

With each passing day, I grow more thankful for the life I've had, my children, my wife, and for our friends, our family and our supporters. This experience has caused me to find the words to express my love and appreciation all the more. My best days here are when Hala, the girls and Joe come to visit, as well as other family and friends. One of my most memorable days this last year was May 1st, when my friend Geraldo Rivera broke the news that President Barack Obama was about to announce the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden. Thank God for Seal Team Six and the United States of America.

Believe it or not, in a very profound way, I thank God for letting me see what I have seen from here, and meet many of the men I have met in the past 20 months. It has changed me now and forever...and for the better.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. And on behalf of my entire family, I thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support. You mean more to us than you will ever know. As we celebrate the holiday season, please join me in remembering our troops returning from Iraq as well as those in Afghanistan and around the globe. And lastly, as always, my regards, thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the NYPD, NYDOC, and Newark Police Department.

May God richly bless you all.


Mr. Kerik can be followed on twitter at:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Early this morning, off duty Newark Police Officer Michael Morgan was shot and killed in Paterson, New Jersey. He was a good friend of my son Joseph and a great cop. It is a terrible loss for Newark, society as a whole, and most importantly, his loving family. May he rest in peace, may God Bless his family, and may the Archangel Saint Michael watch over the colleagues he left behind. -BERNARD B. KERIK

Thursday, November 3, 2011


The Imbalance of Justice

What happens when the scales of justice tip so far in the wrong direction that society begins to lose sight of our Founding Fathers' intended goal of justice? Have we become a society more concerned with money than humanity? How much is a human life really worth in the United States today?

Throughout my career, I have traveled to other parts of the world where life is cheap, but I never thought I'd see a day where, in this country, we'd place more value on a dollar than life itself.

Consider this:

In 2005, L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco International Ltd., was found guilty of grand larceny, conspiracy and securities fraud, stemming from a compensation package and bonuses he received as Tyco's chief executive. By all accounts he was an aggressive and successful corporate executive who helped make Tyco one of the most successful companies in the world, but one who also dared to flaunt his fortune and compensation package, one of the highest of any CEO in the country.

He did not commit an act of violence, he was not a pedophile, he did not rob, rape, or viciously assault or murder anyone, yet his conviction resulted in a sentence of 8 1/3 - 25 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $90 million in restitution to his former employer and a $70 million fine, which according to published reports, he has already satisfied.

The sad reality is that given his age today, 64, Kozlowski was given a death sentence despite being a first time, non-violent offender, for which he has already paid nearly $160 million in fines and restitution. Is that justice?

Compare that to this:

On October 18, 2008, an 18 year old teenager by the name of Christopher Robinson, who was being held on Rikers Island pending criminal charges, was beaten to death by other inmates.

According to the Bronx District Attorney's Office, a three year investigation revealed that two New York City Correction Officers, Michael McKie and Khalid Nelson, were running a secret, sadistic society called "The Program" on Rikers, that encouraged and allowed a brutal squad of inmates, dubbed "The Team," to beat and extort other prisoners.

Robinson was allegedly singled out and murdered - savagely beaten to death - because he refused to go along with "The Program."

Five inmates have since pled guilty for their roles in Robinson's brutal killing and received sentences ranging up to 10 years in prison... substantially less than Tyco CEO Kozlowski.

To make matters worse, last Thursday former correction officers Michael McKie and Khalid Nelson pled guilty in a Bronx courtroom for their role in running "The Program," and allowing this brutal and sadistic group of inmates to savagely beat and extort the other inmates. Their sentence: Nelson will receive one year, and McKie will receive two years in prison.

These two men were sworn to protect the inmates in their custody, yet endangered their lives, and the lives of every correction officer in their facility by turning a blind eye to this brutal and barbaric group of inmates who acted as predators on the weak. Between the two of them, they were sentenced to only three years in prison for their heinous, outrageous and brutal conduct.

Dennis Kozlowski probably made more money than he should have and did things that he should not have done for which he should have been punished. However, he has already spent five years in prison and paid back nearly $160 million in fines and restitution. He still faces another 20 years in prison for a first time non-violent offense, yet those responsible for Robinson's brutal and savage killing will serve less than a 10 year term, and the two public servants who ran "The Program" will serve less than three years between them.

The imbalance in our criminal justice system is glaring. There are serious questions about crime, punishment, justification and fairness. However, for this moment in time, there's only one question that society should be concerned with: Where is the real justice for Christopher Robinson and his family?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

23 Years Ago

23 YEARS AGO Yesterday
On October 18, 1988, in two separate incidents on the same evening, two New York City Police Officers were murdered; Chris Hoban - 26, was shot and killed during a narcotics undercover operation, and Michael Buczek - 24, was shot and killed when he attempted to stop a drug dealer in Washington Heights. Today, I think of them and the families they left behind, and their heroic colleagues in Manhattan North Narcotics and the 34th Precinct. May God Bless them all.

-BERNARD B. KERIK.... Follow Mr. Kerik at:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Disgusting Political Attack Shows Cowardice

At 8:41 a.m. on September 11, 2011, just five minutes before most of the nation was prepared to stand in silence at the exact time the north tower of the World Trade Center was attacked ten years earlier, Paul Krugman, a columnist for the New York Times, thought not of those lost on that day nor the families they left behind nor the New York City first responders who put their lives on the line in one of the greatest rescue and evacuation missions in our country's history nor the ceremonies around the country that were about to take place.

When the rest of the country, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, were all coming together to remember one of the darkest days in our nation's history, Mr. Krugman felt it was the perfect time to launch a cowardly smear campaign and political attack on those who were there in positions of leadership on September 11, 2001, and who did their best to get our country through those extremely difficult times.

After reading the words he posted on his blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, I feel compelled to respond.

In the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in world history, this country did unite in every walk of life, in every political arena and in every community in this country. There was no "wedge issue" or division or disagreement about anything. The American people came together as one, as they should have, with incredible resilience and camaraderie. I'm not sure where Mr. Krugman was hiding at the time, but his own paper and employer wrote all about it.

As for President George W. Bush, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, or me racing to "cash in on the horror," I can only assume that relates to writing a book, promoting that book or speaking about the events of that day or its aftermath--no different than Mr. Krugman's colleagues at the New York Times. They used information they acquired through their investigative reporting to publish books, give media interviews and talks specifically about that day and its aftermath.

Did they race to cash in? Personally, I don't think so. I think their--and all our stories--need to be many of them as possible.

Did Mr. Krugman attacked his own colleagues for "cashing in?" Did he throw a tantrum when former President Bill Clinton published his book or the Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin published his or when they gave speeches relating to their time in office? I'd bet not.

As Americans, we have a duty to tell the story and history of that day.

When the second jet airliner struck the south tower, I was there, dodging debris from the plane and building. When the south tower collapsed, Mayor Giuliani, me, and members of our staffs were a block away, trapped in a building. In dealing with the rescue, recovery and investigation, we all did the best we could at the time, which by all accounts, like it or not, was far better than the handling of others crises around the world, especially considering that we had no warning of what was about to come.

In the past ten years, Mr. Krugman and others like him who didn't have to deal with the death, destruction and devastation, and the rebuilding of a shattered city, have felt compelled to constantly attack those of us who did. Then, to make matters worse, on this 9/11, ten years later, when the entire country was once again united in memory of those we lost and that horrendous day, Mr. Krugman didn't have the common courtesy, decency and patriotism to unite. He chose instead to rant, and his rant was disgusting.

There's something else Mr. Krugman should know:

In 2001, I assisted in the development of a photo book about the first responders on 9/11. The proceeds of that book went to the widows and children of members of the NYPD and FDNY who died in the line of duty. The book raised more than $550,000 that was given to the charity. Between 2002-2004, I was paid $70,000 for my part in putting that book together. The media had a field day when this came to light. However, what they also knew, but refused to publish, was this: Between 2002 and 2004, my wife and I gave that much, plus another $50,000, to charities relating to the first responders of 9/11, the U.S. Military, and medical aid for Iraqi children and Coptic orphans. Included in the $120,000 we gave was $50,000 to the New York City PBA Widows and Orphans Fund, $10,000 to the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, and $5,000 to the FDNY Fire Safety Education Fund.

Something Krugman and almost no one else has ever known was that, within a few days after the attack, when I realized the 23 police officers who worked for me were probably dead, out of concern for their families' well being, I contacted a personal friend of mine in an attempt to raise money for them. Three days later, I was able to present each of those families with a check for $10,000, for a total of $230,000. I did so with no fanfare, no media hype, and no benefit to me or my family or my staff.

And then between 2001 and 2004, Mayor Giuliani and members of his cabinet, including me, created the Twin Towers Fund, a charity for the families and those first responders who were lost. In just under three years, we personally raised more than $216 million that was given to 600 families. I never took a dime for my work in the fund, and in fact, my wife and I contributed $20,000 to the fund in 2002.

Mr. Krugman, how much money did you personally raise for the families of the victims who perished on 9/11? I'm just curious to know.

Lastly, the "fake hero" comment in Mr. Krugman's blog was a combination of ignorance and childish immaturity. And although I don't need to defend my own career and heroics, established long before 9/11, I do feel obligated to respond to his stupidity concerning the others, given that I saw them in action.

When the entire nation was stunned and needed inspiration and leadership with the courage, compassion and dignity to get this country back on its feet, George W. Bush, George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani, Tom Von Essen and others did just that. You cannot change history or erase reality. Stop trying to politicize that moment in time. None of us were perfect, but we gave it our all. Mr. Krugman can write all the nasty political attack columns he wants, but they will never change the horrors of that day, the enemy who attacked us, the rescue and response that followed, and the work that was done by those of us who were there to help our city, state and country.

Now, ten years later, Mr. Krugman wrote that the "memory of 9/11 was irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion of shame."

The real shame, sir, is that you still hold a position with the New York Times. You, and those like you with your cowardly poison pens, are a disgrace to your profession, your newspaper, and to the country that provides you the very freedom that allows you to spew your political garbage.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Today is my 56th birthday, and I will share the day with my wife Hala, and my youngest daughters, Celine and Angelina. They are three of the greatest gifts God has given me.

For many years we have told Celine about a tragic story that ultimately had a happy ending, thanks to the men and women in the FDNY and NYPD, including a Sergeant John Coughlin, of the NYPD's Emergency Response Unit.

Now that Celine is old enough to understand the true meaning of courage and heroism, I recently told her something that I had kept from her for years....the rest of the story, as they say. She responded with this letter:

Dear Mrs. Coughlin,

On August 25, 2000, a woman in the Bronx called 911 for help because her six month old baby was choking and could barely breathe. The police and fire department officers came to their apartment, and when the baby's father, who was working found out, he rushed home. When he arrived at his apartment, he saw all the police and emergency vehicles and was afraid of what happened.

As he came in the door, the first thing he saw was his wife crying hysterically, but then he saw a big policeman, Sergeant John Coughlin of the NYPD, holding the baby in his arms over his head, and the baby was laughing so hard, and she was ok.

Well, that baby was me. My name is Celine Kerik, and my father was the police commissioner at the time, Bernard Kerik.

Today I am 11 years old, and my mother and father have told me that story many many times, but what I had not known until now is that Sgt. John Coughlin, your husband, died when the Twin Towers came crashing down on top of him on September 11, 2001.

After learning and understanding what happened, and since it will be 10 years ago since he died, I wanted to write you this letter.

My father always says he was a hero for all of New York City and the country, and he called him a Teddy Bear with a big heart. But for me, he is my hero for helping keep me alive, and I just wanted to thank him.

My Uncle Besim recently died, and my dad said it was because God needs lots of angels in heaven. I'm sure Mr. Coughlin is one of them. God Bless him, and you and your daughters too.



Today, we celebrated not just my birthday but Celine's life being saved as well. And we celebrated the first responders and all who serve our country. Please pray for them, Sgt. John Coughlin and his family, and all who have put their lives on the line for the people of the United States of America.

Friday, August 26, 2011


In the early morning hours of September 12, 2001, Ground Zero looked like a war zone. The towers were gone, the surrounding buildings burnt out and destroyed, and smoke and ash were everywhere. Fires lit the darkness in recesses where debris and rubble had ignited.

Stunned by the death and devastation on this battlefield, turned hallowed ground, an NYPD sergeant and detective stood there, scanning the site. Suddenly, something caught their eye: an American flag.

It was wrapped around a contorted street light, not far from the plaza of the World Trade Center where it had flown proudly the day before. Tattered and torn, this American flag had survived the worst terror attack in world history.

As the sergeant stared at the flag, he realized it was upside down...the international signal for distress. His blood boiled at the thought. Our city and country had been hit and hit hard, but we were not in distress. Our country had been hurt and hurt bad, but we would survive.

With the help of firemen and military personnel nearby, they retrieved the flag. Carefully, as they had been taught, the soldiers folded it, and handed it to my men. Then standing in silence, they saluted that flag.

I knew nothing of this until hours later that morning when I walked into my office. I was hit by a strong smell of smoke. When I looked around to see why, I noticed a folded flag sitting on the corner of my desk. There was a note with it that read:

“Boss... this is the flag that flew in front of the WTC at Church Street. It was blown off the pole and was tangled on the street light. We as well as some firefighters and soldiers recovered it. The soldiers folded it. In Israel, you said that we can't back down to terrorism. You are right. You lead, and we will follow."

I was overcome by their words, but more so at the sight of the flag sitting there. Less than 24 hours ago, this incredible symbol of freedom and democracy had flown proudly in front of two of the largest buildings in the world. On a clear, blue sky morning, those buildings and thousands working inside them were attacked and destroyed by an enemy who despised the very freedoms that flag represented.

I thought of its history, and the men and women who had fought for, and died, defending it. I thought of the first responders who gave their lives the day before while serving the people of New York City.

Now sitting silent and still on my desk, that flag's symbolism seemed more powerful and mighty than ever. It inspired the men who retrieved it, me, and every person who walked into my office. Some people kissed it. Some touched it. Others simply stared at it or nodded in respect.

This symbol of our country's birth and resilience, once again, as in past battles, inspired, moved and strengthened our resolve. It brought our political leaders together and created unity in our country. All across America, flags heralded this truth: Good will prevail over evil.

Today, in these truly trying times, I think back to those moments and that flag.

In recent days, we have suffered a tremendous loss of 30 of this nation's greatest warriors, and we have witnessed historic economic setbacks and political polarization. Gloom and doom permeates our headlines and airwaves. This is not a time to provoke fear or lose confidence in our nation's resilience and spirit. This is not a time for pessimism, or throwing in the towel, or writing us off as a second rate nation.

This is not the time to give in or give up!!!

This is a time for unity, optimism, and national support for our country and that flag. It is a time for a call to action...just as in the aftermath of the attacks on our country. It is a time we must stand together, as one nation, under God and indivisible. Most important, it is a time to reflect and learn from that flag…learn from the men and women who died, fighting for and defending it, and from the strength of the families they left behind. May we learn from the flag that was ripped from its stand, but whose spirit and symbolism could not be destroyed.

In these trying times and when we need it most, stand up and honor that flag with the strength, unity, courage and conviction that it has symbolized for us for more than 230 years. We owe it to our children, and their children, as well. Most important, we owe it to that flag and the country it represents.

God Bless the USA.

Bernard B. Kerik

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This is a Time for Unity - Not Politics

The past 72 hours have been saturated with the news of the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. I, for one, could not be happier.

Yet, what should be a time of pride, praise and unity for the entire country has quickly become a soap box for many of President Barack Obama's critics. They have tried their best to find fault in every decision and move he has made, right down to nit-picking, word for word, the announcement of Bin Laden's death.

If the president left office in 2012 or 2016, and Bin Laden had not yet been captured or killed, it would surely be labeled his fault. Why can't he now get the credit he is due?

By all accounts, it was the President who decided and ordered the high-risk ground assault versus a less risky aerial strike on the terrorists' compound. A near-flawless operation resulted.

But that is not enough for Obama's critics. Should we have captured or killed Bin Laden? Disposed of the body or not? What did the president know and when?

Let me ask this: Who really cares?

If the operation had failed, if there were U.S. casualties, if Bin Laden had gotten away, then the President's critics could rightfully have a field day, but this entire operation was methodical, well-executed, and close to miraculous... without one U.S. casualty.

To my fellow Republicans and conservatives I say: Stop whining and give the President the credit he deserves. A better outcome happens only in the movies.

And as for those who believe killing Bin Laden may incite Al-Qaeda and their followers, remember they are already filled with anger and hatred against us. Let's not forget that on September 11, 2001, we were inciting no one and yet suffered the worst terror attack in world history. As for the burial at sea, I personally believe it was ingenious. I was in Iraq when Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, were killed. I recall the many issues we had to deal with then. I also recall the problems with the bodies of Saddam Hussein and Abu Masab Al-Zarkowi, Iraq's leading terrorist whose body was returned to his hometown of Zarka, Jordan.

For Bin Laden, there will be no shrines and no martyrdom rallying points.

There are times for politics and debates and there are not. This is a time for unity and honor. Save the negativity for another time.

For the families and friends of those who perished on 9/11, for the first responders who came to the rescue - 400 who died doing their job - for our men and women in the Armed Forces who for the past 10 years have been fighting this global war on terror, and for the heroes in the U.S. Navy Seals who pulled off one of the greatest missions in our country's history, let us put politics aside.

Let us thank God that good has prevailed over evil and that President Barack Obama made the decisions he did.

On September 14, 2001, President George W. Bush came to Ground Zero, shook my hand and told me that America would bring those to justice that were responsible for the attacks on our country. Tomorrow, President Barack Obama will go to Ground Zero to remind the world that America has kept its promise. I, for one, will never forget him and this momentous event just as I will never forget those we lost.


Monday, May 2, 2011

A Great Day to be an American

As one who stood beneath the building and watched the second aircraft slam through Tower II of the World Trade Center, and was there when it collapsed, hearing President Barack Obama announce to the world that Osama Bin Ladin was dead, was joyous, emotional and overwhelming. God Bless our president, the intelligence and special operations personnel that carried out this mission, and God Bless America. -BERNARD B. KERIK