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If only one died today

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this….”

Students today probably are not required to memorize Abraham’s Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Perhaps, they should be.

More than 625,000 died in the “Civil War.” My granny said there ain’t nothin’ “civil” about no war. She was right.

This weekend, here in the United States of America, we will honor those who died fighting for causes which they believed to be just and true and also those in which they disagreed.

And “it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”

More than 25,000 died in the American Revolution; 116,816 in World War I; 405,399 in World War II; 58,209 in Vietnam; 2,356 in Afghanistan; and 4,489 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Now, today, in the United States we are once again engaged in another great civil war but against an invisible enemy.

More than 93,000 Americans have died from the novel coronavirus and more will die.

The numbers of cases and deaths are posted daily on the front page of newspapers, crawl across the television screen and pop up on smartphones.

But the numbers are trifling in a country with 328 million people, some will say.

Really?

“Only one killed – in Company B,

Twas a trifling loss — one man.

“Only one killed! It was my son,

The mother cried.”

(From War Songs and Poems of the Southern Confederacy)