We must keep rising to meet America’s needs

Published 5:00 am Friday, September 28, 2001

When Americans are in need, other Americans rise to meet thatneed. We have seen it nationally in the past 12 days, and we haveseen it here locally. From giving blood, to prayer services, toflying flags, area residents have been generous in showing theirsupport.

Area businesses and individuals have responded to The DAILYLEADER’s call to raise money for the American Red Cross. As ofFriday afternoon we raised over $3,000. The money will be passedalong to the national organization as part of our effort with othernewspapers across the country to raise one million dollars byNovember 10. We will continue to collect funds in the daysahead.

Inside today’s newspaper you will find a printed American flag.The flag is part of that project. We hope you will hang it as areminder to honor those victims of the September 11 terroristattack and to remember our troops now being mobilized, apparentlyinto harm’s way.

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As President Bush said in his speech to Congress and the nationThursday night, we are heading into a new kind of war, a war thatwill not be necessarily seen on TV but instead seen in more quietand subtle ways such as covert operations few will ever know about.He laid out the groundwork for a war that will not have adefinitive end but instead last for an extended period of time. Thepoint the President was making was that patience and resolve of theAmerican people are needed if we are to succeed.

We as a country must be prepared for this war, because a portionof it may be fought right here on American soil. As one expert putit recently, we may very well experience not only more incidentssuch as the recent attack, but other less audacious attacks such aspower disruption, water and food contamination. These attacks wouldbe designed to disrupt our daily lives with the idea to make us,”pay more and play less.” The goal, of course, will be to test ournational will.

Already Mississippians are being called up for duty andundoubtedly more will follow. As each day passes, individually ourlives will be touched as someone we know is called into action. Thetoughest part will be when some do not come home.

President Bush honored some of the heroes of September 11. Hepraised the passengers of United Airlines flight 93 who thwartedthe hijackers’ mission by crashing the plane into the Pennsylvaniacountryside. He praised the efforts of New York police, fire andrescue personnel who perished trying to save others.

These individuals are heroes, real American heroes who saw aneed and responded. We need to remember the Todd Beamers and GeorgeHowards who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the quest of savingothers.

There will be more heroes in the days to come, and we will honorthem. It will be on their blood that the rest of us will surviveand succeed.

America is now in need, and it is up to the American public torise to that need. We can do so by understanding that the key towinning this war will be within each of us — not just the militaryor political leadership — each of us.

Our resolve will be tested, and we must be willing to stand upto that test by keeping faith in our country and our leadership.And, we must be willing to do what it takes to insure oursuccess.

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602.