SERVING OUR VETERANS: Coronavirus brings different kind of war
You may probably be getting tired of reading about this coronavirus crisis. But, I hope you can bear with me while I share some of my personal, rather hodgepodge, thoughts on this subject. President Trump and state governors have called upon various military units at the federal and state level to provide humanitarian support to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump has called this world-wide crisis “a war.” But, it is a totally different kind of war that our military is called upon to fight. It is a deadly enemy that those fighting against it cannot hear, see, or even smell.
However, death from illnesses has been part of our wars. This is especially true in our country’s early wars. For example, I found on the website an article from the “American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics.” It indicates the number of deaths that were the result of other causes (the majority being from illnesses): Civil War: 224,097; World War I: 63,114; World War II: 113,842; Korean War: 2,833; and the Vietnam War: 10,785.
The last time we as Americans have had to face a situation like this was the 1918 “Spanish flu” in which it is estimated one-third of the world population (500 million) were infected and 50 million died. It is hard to imagine that this present day pandemic could ever reach these numbers and it is our hopes and prayers that it will not.
So, how are we to defeat this silent enemy we know as the COVID-19 virus? I certainly do not have the scientific answers but, hopefully soon, scientists smarter than me will figure this out. In the meantime, I believe all we can do is to follow the medical guidelines that we have been asked (and in some cases, ordered) to do.
Thinking back over the history of our country, I do believe there is one thing we can, and must, do. It is that we stay united and all work together to fight this battle. Each of us can do our part as individual citizens, along with our government, our health care professionals and health care workers. We can win this battle. We cannot go back and change what has already happened, but can only move forward and do what must be done. Blaming others and division in our ranks will do no good at this point. That is just a waste of precious time.
We as Americans have always been united and our strongest at the most difficult times during our history including times of war, natural disasters, The Great Depression, to name just a few. From our earliest days, we read in our history how our citizens have rallied together, even before we had organizations like the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army, and prevailed by our ability to provide aid, comfort to the sick and wounded, and even in burying those who died.
I have one more personal thought that I would like you to think about. It is again in regard to those who feel the need to blame other people and other countries for causing our present crisis. I think we need to remember that this country of ours was founded by immigrants who came from other countries, especially from eastern and western European nations. For most of us, these are our ancestors. When they came to this land, they also brought with them diseases like small pox, diphtheria, and tuberculous, to name just a few. These illnesses devastated and almost wiped out many of the Native Americans who were already here. This was not intentional, but it did happen. So, instead of wasting our time blaming others, let us focus on having hearts of empathy for all people as we work together, and stand united to fight this new kind of war. This enemy has crept into our homeland. He is at our door step. It will not be easy and there will be further suffering and death. But, hopefully, by our individual resolve to fight this battle, the victory will eventually be ours and our country will be stronger once again.?
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