Memorial Day on a Different Battlefield
Next Monday is Memorial Day, a time for remembering our military.
The day feels a little different this year because, in a sense, we are all in another world war, only the enemy is invisible.
As in the two previous world wars, America will be expected to come to the rescue, though the talking heads of late night TV will gladly say that this country is running behind its expectations. If only there was the equivalent of a bacteriological Normandy to which we could rush an evasion force.
Conquering, however, takes time and preparation and, in a democracy, persuasion of the tax-paying electorate. A quote, attributed to several world leaders, including, though not verified, to Churchill capsulizes the respect, and frustration, that other nations feel: “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”
Though this nation may still be in the “exhausting possibilities” stage, I suspect that one day when we look back at this crisis, America will have done the right thing, which would include paying many of the costs, developing the vaccine, building a digital system that allowed quarantined people to nevertheless see and talk to each other; and providing the crucial medical science and expertise.
Frontline soldiers in this war have medical degrees and wear masks, gloves and outfits that seem suitable for landing on Mars. Yet there will always be battlefields for the traditional military. Last week the President talked about Operation Warped Speed, his initiative to have a COVID vaccine developed and distributed quickly.
“When a vaccine is ready,” Mr. Tump said, “the U.S. government will deploy every plane, truck, and soldier required to help distribute it to the American people as quickly as possible.”
So, once again, the military will be charging across life’s battlefields.
And once again, we anticipate that another invader will have been conquered.
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s books, “New Orleans: The First 300 Years” and “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2017 and 2013), are available at local bookstores and at book websites.
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 9:30 A.M. SUNDAYS.WYES-TV, CH. 12.