December 4, 2020 10:37:45 AM
As early as March, the COVID-19 pandemic was compared to war. President Trump called himself a war-time president as the nation battled an insidious, invisible enemy on our own soil.
In the time of another great war -- World War II -- Americans turned to newspapers and radios each day with one overriding question in mind, "How is the war going?"
Nine months into our current war, if we are honest with ourselves the answer to the question is clear:
We are losing.
In keeping with the vernacular of war, as of Thursday, we have suffered 14.2 million injuries (cases) with more than 276,000 killed. On Thursday alone, 2,857 Americans died, more than the number of those killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, an act that galvanized support for the war effort almost 80 years ago. The bitter irony is our current war dead have not galvanized America, but divided it, even as health experts say the worst of the suffering is still ahead of us.
In World War II, both sides looked forward to technology to put an end to the carnage. For the Allies, it was the atomic bomb; for the Axis powers, the V2 rocket.
In the meantime, the grim and determined fighting continued with no concessions made to that yet-to-be-realized "miracle weapon."
Today, we look forward to our own technological super-weapon - a vaccine. Although two vaccines await approval, it may be early summer before it is widely available.
An earlier generation recognized the hard fight had to continue.
Why should it be any different in our generation?
Ah, but how the times have changed.
In the 1940s, we dressed our young men and women in military uniforms and sent them to fight in Europe and the South Pacific. Today, our troops are dressed in hospital scrubs, and the battlefields are found in every hospital, every medical clinic and every long-term care facility across the country.
Let's be clear on one important thing here: It is not our doctors, nurses and care-givers who are losing this war.
We are losing the war in the White House and our governor's mansions, where leadership has proven unequal to the demands of leadership and unwilling to pro-actively exercise Constitutional authority for fear of criticism. It is the definition of cowardice.
But we are also losing the war in our towns, our neighborhoods, our workplaces and yes, even in our bars, restaurants and churches, because we are too often failing to make the sacrifices necessary to support our troops.
When we stubbornly refuse to wear masks, when we fail to engage in social distancing, when we ignore pleas to avoid crowds, when we continue to gather with those outside our immediate households, we are giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
An earlier generation accepted far greater sacrifices and proudly bore those hardships as a show of solidarity with those brave soldiers fighting on the front lines, determined that their sacrifices would not be made in vain.
For those individual acts of patriotism -- both on the field of battle and at home -- those Americans are today honored as "The Greatest Generation."
But what do you call a generation that will not make even small sacrifices to protect and preserve its own countrymen?
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