GET HIGH ON LIFE: Is today’s generation ready to face up to war challenge?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2001


Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation,” describes the people who lived, fought and died during the Second World War. No doubt about it, that generation was special and rose to the occasion when America’s freedom was threatened. Since then, people have said that America is different. No one will disagree with that.

Over the years, I’ve heard many people say that our young people today would never respond the way the young men and women did during the Second World War. I’ve always disagreed with that.

Working with young people, many coming from broken families and raised without much love or discipline, I admit that many have no direction in life. It seems like they are just like a ship without a rudder – floating through life without a steady course.

Since Sept. 11, the American agenda has drastically changed. The liberal social issues have been put on the back burner. (Thank God!)

Patriotism is being displayed throughout the country. Even the ACLU is not complaining about us using the name of God and singing “God Bless America.” (They have enough sense to know when to stop.)

Yes, despite the awful tragedy of Sept. 11, when so many innocent people were killed, a new refreshing spirit is present in the U.S.A.

I speak at the St. James Youth Center on a regular basis. Young people, 11-17 years of age, are incarcerated there for different reasons. Last week, I addressed about 50 young men and mentioned the possibility of a war. “How many of you would be afraid to fight for your country?” I asked. Two hands went up.

The next question was, “How many of you would volunteer to fight for your country!” Ninety percent of them responded by raising their hands. Later, the two who earlier said they would be afraid, said they would still fight.

This past Saturday, while speaking to approximately 40 men at the Fountainbleu Treatment Center, from the ages of 18-53, I asked the question, “How many of you would be willing to defend your country?” Again, about 90 percent had a positive response. One young man who didn’t respond said that the reason was because he was uncertain if he could intentionally hurt or kill someone.

In my mind, these two sessions with young men that many of us have written off as hopless, assures me that when needed, they will answer the call as the men and women did 60 years ago. I realize that they haven’t proven themselves yet, but I my heart, I know they would make all America proud.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group. Call him at (985) 652-8477 or write to P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70080.