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Brace now to preserve future

Jackie Carpenter, Managing Editor

Back in the days when I was a “young ’un” (as they called us in the deep South, where I was reared), any time I balked at doing a particular task with the familiar, “I can’t,” you probably already know what the parental retort was:
“Can’t never could do anything.”
Today, trying to come up with a light, entertaining column, while almost every waking thought centers on the 9-11 terrorists attacks and the world’s response, is impossible. There are times when you not necessarily can’t, but shouldn’t.
Time and again, I hear that those of us who can must continue to live our lives as usual, not in fear and absolutely not in defeat.
That takes confidence and hope in the future. For me, nothing holds more confidence and hope for tomorrow than the valiant men and women in service to this nation and the children of today, who face a future with more uncertainty than perhaps any of us have for a long, long time. Not since Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
I know little to nothing of what it takes to train for military service. Thankfully, for the most part, my generation believed a woman’s job was to preserve the homefront, unless she was a brave doctor or nurse who could help heal the wounded in a foreign land.
That brings me to the homefront, to the determination of our children, the hard work and courage they must have to endure and reach their utmost potential, whether the career is to be military, firefighting or police service, teaching the next generation, digging a perfect ditch or discovering a cure for one or more of the deadly or debilitating diseases that still exists.
We pray for the fearful nights ahead for our citizens, like Dr. Neyland and Diane Clark, whose son, a recent graduate of West Point, is already preparing for a lengthy battle, a battle like none we have ever known. This war will most likely be fought face-to-face, not missile-to-missile. And sometimes the battles will be far behind the scenes, so far we may never know of the victories, as President George W. Bush said in his magnificent address Thursday night.
Neither, God willing, will we know defeat.
Our charge, then, is to stay the course. We can, we must, remain focused for our children’s sake and try as we might to help them achieve their goals, their dreams, in these trying times.