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Letter: War, disease and responsibility

Jacobs writes, "The nation’s requirement to serve in time of national crisis has always trumped freedom to do whatever you please."

Letter to the editor FSA

The juxtaposition of Veterans’ Day celebration with the recent anti-vaccination protests in North Dakota is a disappointing contrast,

In a recent Veteran’s Day column, Lois Schaefer, the North Dakota State Americanism chair of the VFW Auxillary, wrote, 1,354,664 U. S. veterans have died and 1,495,240 were wounded in U.S. wars and conflicts.” These men and women are being honored for protecting our “national health” and our freedom. Many of these individuals were not volunteers, they were draftees, mandated to serve. In World War II, 61.2% of military personnel were draftees. They may have preferred not to serve, but they served.

The nation’s requirement to serve in time of national crisis has always trumped freedom to do whatever you please. Such requirements had teeth. Thirteen thousand draft evaders were imprisoned during WWII. Today, although registration for the draft is still required, the potential five-year prison term and $250,000 fine for evasion has never been used since the military is now a voluntary force, but it is there in case of need.

The nation has been fighting this viral enemy for nearly two years. More than 756,000 Americans have been killed by this invader. This is clearly a national crisis. The strategy for fighting this enemy initially involved hand washing, social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding crowds; those were the only responses available when this pandemic war began. Then a devastating weapon, capable of defeating the enemy — a vaccine—became available. However, because some people would rather protest than be vaccinated, the disease continues to morph and spread as the nation’s health and economy limp along.

People want to be free from this plague. All citizens have a responsibility to help by getting vaccinated, marching anti-vaxxers and star football players included. The country needs everyone to cooperate.

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Gerald B. Jacobs lives in Moorhead.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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