Tuesday, September 11, 2012


On November 13, 2001, these words were published in my book, The Lost Son, A Life in Pursuit of Justice.

"The events of September 11, 2001, robbed the New York City Police Department, and the city at large, of 23 extraordinary human beings: police officers, sergeants, and detectives; twenty-two men and one woman who were beloved by their families and valued by the communities they served. But in their sacrifice, these fallen heroes gave the world something truly great in return: a demonstration of unshaken courage in the face of death, and the nobility of the human spirit. In a city of superlatives, theirs was an ultimate act of virtue; let their lives, and their bravery, never be forgotten."

Today, let us also not forget the 343 members of the FDNY, or the 37 Port Authority Police Officers who died as well, or the dozens of first responders from the NYPD, FDNY, AND PAPD that have died since, due to 9/11 related illnesses.

I salute and honor them all, as well as their surviving brothers and sisters in uniform, who on that day, and in the days after, put life before death, in one of the greatest rescue and recovery missions in United States history.

God Bless them all.


Monday, September 10, 2012

JOE LEWIS - Rest in Peace

In the summer of 1969, I was 13 years old, when I began studying the Martial Arts. I earned my first degree black belt in American Goju Karate in 1972, and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, in Korea in 1975.

The Martial Arts Grand Masters of today, back then, were the top competitors in the world, inspiring young men and women just like me, to train and train hard, and to fight and fight hard. They taught us discipline, respect, and honor.

Chuck Norris, Jeff Smith, Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, Joe Corely, Mike Stone, and Skipper Mullins, were some that I looked up to, admired and tried to emulate as a fighter and artist. I have had the pleasure of meeting most of them, and the distinct honor of getting to know them personally, and calling them friends. Good friends.

Joe Lewis was one of them. A living legend in the martial arts world, he was inducted into 13 martial arts halls of fame, including Black Belt Magazine, and named Black Belt's Instructor of the Year, and Fighter of the Year.

On Friday, August 31, 2012, Grandmaster Joe Lewis past away. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends, and millions of martial artists around the world. I will miss an inspiration, a good man, and a great friend.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family, during this difficult time.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Father's Day

For years as a child, on Father's Day, I would give my dad a card, sometimes with a small gift and sometimes not. As I got older, it went from a card to a call...until 2006. That was the year my dad died. There were no more cards and no more calls.

When I too became a father, the same routine was repeated. My children gave me cards or little gifts on this special day.

I often think of my dad, Donald Raymond Kerik, Sr. His wisdom, humor, attitude, and his humility have stuck with me,along with all of the things he taught me about life, both big and small. I am in awe of his strength, his courage. It was something I never realized until the end. Throughout his life and mine, I never saw it, or witnessed it, or felt it. He was mild mannered, peaceful, and most often a passive man, until the day we sat in a room with two doctors who told him that the end was near.

He had no fear, he didn't flinch, and he sat there as stoic as one could be in the face of death, in complete control.

He wasn't going to take chemo. "I hear it makes you sick," he said. He didn't want pain killers. "I've never done drugs, and I'm not going to start now."

When he asked how long he would live, the doctor replied, "Without treatment, months... maybe three or four."

With my brother and me in shock, my mother in hysteria, and the doctors a bit stunned, Dad thanked them for their time, stood up and said, "I'm not sure what I intend to do, so I'll discuss it with my wife and sons, and I'll get back to you tomorrow. Now let's get some lunch," and off we went.

I learned more about him on that one day than perhaps any other. He died six months later.

This coming Father's Day will my third away from my own children, and as difficult as this time has been for all of us, it has given me another way to look at Father's Day, and what it means to me.

I've realized it has nothing to do with cards, gifts or calls.

To me, Father's Day is the first time you hear your child say "Daddy." It's their smile in the morning, a kiss on the cheek, the soft touch of their hands. It's running your hands through their hair when they're sleeping and the way they smell after their evening bath. It's the words, "I love you," before bed, and butterflies and Eskimos. It's movies on Saturdays, pancakes on Sundays, and outrageous ice creams at Friendly's. It's watching your oldest succeed and your youngest excel. It's teaching them things that you never knew and giving them more than you ever had. It's your daughter with your freckles, eyes, and attitude, and your son with the same birthmark on his back that you have on yours. It's the joy that comes from being a father, and the heart full of love that you cannot explain.

For me, Father's Day is every day, all year long. Missing the last three years with my children has done nothing more than make me understand that.

I miss my father. He was a good man.

As for my children, Happy Father's Day! You've given me the greatest gift of all.

You can follow Mr. Kerik at www.twitter.com/bernardkerik