Jon K. Rust

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications.

This is a time for action

It's a time to pray.

A time to mourn.

And a time to gather information for a decisive, devastating response.

Yesterday, churches throughout the region opened their doors for special services. That is good. At home and at work, we should pray too. The loss of life and innocence are tragic.

By now, we've all seen the horrific images, so there is no need to describe them. But this attack worse than Pearl Harbor must not stand.

It will not stand.

Before action, however, we must make sure to respond appropriately and not indiscriminately.

No warnings apparently were given before the attacks.

So far, there have been no clear announcements of responsibility.

Our government deserves our support in this difficult time. While our leaders work to track down the network of terrorists, we must reach out to our countrymen in need. Prayers first. And then, where we can, support in resources.

We must also deny terrorists their goal of striking fear into our hearts. Be angry. Pray. Mourn. But do not shut down.

It is time to defend freedom in the world. If you have a flag, raise it in your front yard. Place one in your window.

We are Americans, and we will respond.

Because I went to business school on the East Coast, I have many friends who live and work on Wall Street. My e-mail inbox is full of communications from friends seeking word from other friends. At 7 p.m. last night, we still hadn't heard from Roberto Bandelli, who worked in the World Trade Center. Other friends were known to be safe immediately after the attacks, but they had gone out to help victims. Some have not been reachable since. But it is still early.

Several of my friends live in the Wall Street area in and below the Tribeca neighborhood. Because of the dust and debris, they won't be able to stay at home and they're not sure where they'll be tonight. But they're happy to be alive.

So many others, they understand humbly, will not have the luxury of discomfort.

Some e-mails encouraged blood donation.

In Cape Girardeau, we, too, can help by donating blood. There will be a blood drive today at the Osage Community Centre between noon and 8 p.m.

Next Monday through Thursday, September 17-20, you can give at the Southeast Missouri State University Student Center between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

We are Americans, and we will help our own.

Last night, I was reassured to learn my nephew was going to the SEMO Fair to see the mini-car races. It brought a smile to my face. He was meeting friends there and expecting to have a great time. Tonight I will go, too.

I will go to look at the livestock and all of God's creations. To have a bratwurst and some cotton candy. Maybe a funnel cake, too.

I'm not one for midway rides, but I'll enjoy watching others whirl and rise.

That's part of America.

Please pray for Roberto.

Please pray for all victims and their families. Please pray for our president and government. Please pray for our community.

Raise a flag to the spirit of the country. Give blood if you can. And don't let the terrorists stop us from being American -- and free.

We are Americans, and we will respond.

We are Americans, and we will help our own.

We are Americans, God shine His grace on thee.

Jon K. Rust is co-president of Rust Communications.