No. 435


Someone once said that danger is "The anger of a great man the tumult of a mob a widow that has been thrice married a wind that comes in at a hole a reconciled enemy." It took me a moment on that part that says, a widow that has been thrice married, but I was swift as a deer that had been shot at and missed, when it came to that last part a reconciled enemy. There is little doubt among the vast majority of our citizens that we do have a reconciled enemy. These are the people that we call ÔTerrorists' and they would literally destroy us, if given the opportunity. For this reason, we must all be constantly vigilant to preempt any terrorist act that would cause vast destruction and loss of life.

Soon after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, our government was swift to set up a Department of Homeland Defense to coordinate all of our recourses to try to prevent this from ever happening again. I say "try" because there is no guarantee that anything can be done to prevent this type of thing from again visiting our shores. Our nation's airports, government buildings, critical infrastructure such as nuclear plants and railroads, harbors, shopping malls and other locations where people congregate are the most vulnerable. Those of us who love sports are also deeply concerned about football stadiums and basketball arenas filled to capacity and a terrorist cell deciding that's the target they want to hit. It would be more than tragic should this ever happen.

For the above stated reasons I want to share something with you that a reader sent me the other day. This was soon after Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge had announced that our national alert was being raised from yellow to orange, which means from "Elevated" to "High." This reader was not looking to see his name in print or receive any credit for his idea. He just wanted to share an idea that might make us more aware of a nation in peril and might just make a difference in the future. I might also point out that I would not waste your time if I did not think the threat of Ôterrorism' was going to be with us for some time. We only have to look to the nation of Israel to see what is possible unless we are constantly on guard to prevent it.

This gentleman, whom I will call a patriot, begins by saying, "You will probably recall that there has been some national discussions concerning our ho-hum complacency in regard to our country's current status of alert. What do you think about making the following suggestion to our country through your column? "Whenever the National Alert is raised to Orange, each of us would wear an article of orange colored clothing, not coordinated with the rest of our apparel. Women could wear an orange colored scarf, blouse, hat, etc. Men could wear an orange colored shirt, jacket or tie. If the alert is raised again to "Red," then we could all wear something red."

Of course this kind of dress would be so conspicuous that it would draw attention to the occasion of Homeland Security, and remind us to be vigilantly alert. Now, that's his idea. Let me ask you what you think about it? Would you be willing to do it if you thought it would make us more aware of the dangers we face from terrorists?

Personally, I wish it had been some other color than orange. When I was in Junior High School my mother bought me an orange shirt and made me wear it. I hated it. However, since I've gotten older I have come to like the color orange and I know some of my friends in Texas and Tennessee love it, too. That's their school's color.

But seriously, at this point the idea of wearing a piece of orange or red colored clothing, depending on the alert status, may be far removed from your thinking, but it could be placed on the front burner in a hurry. All we would need is another major terrorist attack to make us realize how vulnerable we really are. After this column runs in several newspapers, I will send a copy to Secretary Ridge to get his thoughts, as well. Obviously, my column only reaches a very small fraction of the American people, but all it would take is a few well chosen words from Tom Ridge during one of those high powered news conferences, to get the word out.

Personally, I would do everything I could to help save the lives of my fellow citizens and sometimes the timing of a good idea could bring that about. One thing for sure, none of us should be complacent, because we face a great danger. Here is another positive. Most men do not own anything to wear colored orange or red; therefore should this idea catch on, the purchase of special colored items of clothing would no doubt cause another positive spike in our economy. To me, this idea sounds far out, but we may be there someday. By then, we may all be seeing red. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)