We marked Memorial Day on Monday, honoring all those who died in military service to our nation. It was a holiday unlike past years, however. Gone were the community-wide parades and elaborate ceremonies.
Gatherings were limited to 10 or fewer people, by order of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. We weren’t entirely sure any ceremonies would be allowed until the governor gave the final word on May 19.
We hope everyone took some time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Nearly 2.9 million Americans have died in battle since the Revolutionary War was fought from 1775 to 1783.
Leaving for war is any citizen’s highest form of service to the nation. He or she must be willing and ready to die. When the bullets and mortars fly, soldiers run toward them, not away from them, if they expect to win.
Right now, our nation is engaged in a war of a different sort, battling an unseen enemy, a viral invader that ravages many, while, strangely, leaving others untouched. Our warriors are the doctors, nurses, EMTs, police officers and firefighters in the hospitals and in the communities that have become our new front lines. The coronavirus has been an unrelenting foe, but this fight must continue, and we must win it. We have no choice.