Yesterday was Memorial Day, the solemn annual occasion on which those who risked and gave their lives for our country are honored.

This year all Americans had an opportunity to do more than lay wreaths on graves. This year, unlike those in recent history, we could use this day to follow in their courageous footsteps by doing our part as soldiers in the difficult battle against COVID-19. Like it or not, that is where we find ourselves. All of us, men, women and children, are called into service against this disease, that has now claimed 100,000 American lives. Together, we are a mighty force, staying at home, keeping social distance and ALWAYS wearing a mask when we go out. Together, we fend off the virus until the battle is won, however lengthy and difficult it may be. But sadly, some citizen-soldiers choose to ignore these marching orders, choose to congregate with anyone they please, choose to refuse to wear a mask. After all, this is America, and we have the right to make choices!

No, this is a pandemic, this is war, we are ALL soldiers in this war, and in any other war, those that refuse to do their part would be court martialed for aiding and abetting the enemy. Wearing a face mask is our duty as Americans; to refuse to do so is to help the virus kill our friends and neighbors. Aiding and abetting the enemy.

Let’s really honor those who have sacrificed in this war, not only the 100,000 who have given their lives, but the tens of thousands who have risked their lives to save others. In so doing, we also uphold the dignity of Memorial Day by our behavior as true American patriots.

Cynthia Janes

East Gull Lake