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America, Land of Free Only Because Home of Brave

land of the free home of the brave

(Stephen Coburn/Dreamstime)

By Tuesday, 26 May 2020 10:24 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Memorial Day was established as a reverent reminder of those many who sacrificed their tragically abbreviated lives and potentials in order that we might freely live ours.

The majority of the more than one-half million who fought in distant foreign wars to secure their beloved homeland — our America — were young. They missed out on realizing the blessings of liberty and opportunity they bequeathed to us.

Our nation is now in a very different sort of war, this time with a deadly and disruptive viral pandemic at home. Yet as before, our courage, determination and resilience will determine the futures that we, in turn, bequeath to our children and generations to follow.

And make no mistake about this, we truly are at war.

The current American death toll of approximately 100,000 casualties approaches the number of U.S. troops that died during World War I, and is nearly twice more than occurred during the Vietnam War.

Nonetheless, one difference between this new conflict and past battle campaigns is readily observable in the appearance of its frontline warriors.

Rather than attired in snappy blue and khaki dress uniforms, crisply starched fatigues, and glisteningly polished footwear, they tend to wear wrinkled, slept-in scrubs, medical gowns, and lab coats.

Instead of helmets and flack jackets as protective gear, they go into battle zones with face shields, goggles, masks, gloves, and shoe covers.

There are notable weaponry dissimilarities as well.

Instead of going into harm’s way armed with automatic M4/M4A1 carbines and Beretta M9 side arms, the new combatants carry stethoscopes, holstered beepers, urine collectors, and bed pans.

Irrespective of dissimilitude in appearances, these valiant and compassionate health care professionals are true soldiers who routinely put their own safety at risk in our common defense.

Most work in infection-prone environments, including critical care treatment facilities and nursing homes. Some administer swab-tests and other procedures that put them in direct contact with respiratory and body fluids of suspected and known viral carriers.

Meanwhile, another volunteer army of professionals is engaged in a "Manhattan Project"-scale race to produce and validate prospective COVID-19 vaccines and cures.

A Trump administration Operation Warp Speed program seeks to accelerate a normally prolonged process to ready a vaccine for emergency use for at-risk populations by the end of this year.

Warp Speed has identified 14 COVID-19 vaccine possibilities.

It will select the eight most promising, and will provide coordinated government support for their development and testing in early-stage small clinical trials.

Large-scale randomized trials will proceed in three to five of them.

America’s versatilely adaptive free market enterprise system has also empowered still other private sector coronavirus battle groups to pitch in and produce vitally needed medical equipment and supplies.

Not since World War II have large and small companies responded so rapidly and productively to a national threat.

Just as they had done when recruited to build WWII aircraft and equipment, Ford and General Motors halted and retooled production lines in several plants to produce many thousands of emergency ventilators needed for severely ill patients.

A California fuel cell company, Bloom Energy, retrofitted and upgraded hundreds of older ventilators to add to the supply.

A small Pittsburgh backpack manufacturer rehired 15 workers that had been furloughed due to the coronavirus shutdown, partnered with several other companies to increase production capacity, and with backing of three nonprofit contributors, churned out more than 50,000 medical-grade face shields.

A Rhode Island sporting goods manufacturer, G-Form, also teamed up with other businesses to produce 20,000 face shields daily.

American Leather Holdings in Dallas converted and shifted its furniture manufacturing operations to produce protective masks and gowns.

The New Balance sporting apparel and footwear company, Tommy Hilfiger, and Gap, along with a coalition of nine T-shirt and hoodie manufactures including Parkdale, Fruit of the Loom, Hanesbrands, Beverly Knots, American Giant, and AST Sportswear, also retooled to supply masks.

Fortunately, early model-based fears that COVID-19 patients might overwhelm all available medical treatment capacities have proved unwarranted.

And while medical victory over the pandemic enemy remains painfully elusive, we have rediscovered good reasons for optimism.

As before, encouragement could be found in the courageous determination of freedom-endowed warriors on all national security battlefronts, military and biological.

Our greatest collective moral imperative now must be to heal America from devastating life-liberty and economic injuries of mandated business shutdowns.

Such restoration cannot begin until we exercise the courage to reopen our country and once again become the land of freedom we inherited.

There is no more fitting tribute to honor those who sacrificed their lives and futures for our precious opportunities.

Larry Bell is a senior visiting scholar at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He is also an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. Larry has written more than 600 articles for Newsmax and Forbes, and is the author of several books. Included are: "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

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Our greatest collective moral imperative now must be to heal America from devastating life-liberty and economic injuries of mandated business shutdowns.
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Tuesday, 26 May 2020 10:24 AM
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