In 1942 both my father and father-in-law were drafted into the U.S. Army. As part of the induction process, they were vaccinated. If one refused the vaccines, they could be court martialed. My mom, who grew up in a small town in Upper Michigan, traveled 600 miles to Detroit to support the war effort by working as Rosie the Riveter. During the war, Americans were asked to make sacrifices in many ways. Rationing was only one of those ways, but it was a way Americans contributed to the war effort. Automobiles, tires, gasoline, shoes, sugar and butter are examples that were rationed for the common good.

Roll the clock forward about 80 years. We are in a pandemic that has killed millions worldwide. In some places, vaccines and masks, which are proven to lessen the effects of the virus and save lives, have been mandated.

Disappointingly, there are politicians such as Scott Jensen, who is running for governor, and Rep. Josh Heintzeman who see the mandates as an intrusion into the rights and freedoms of Americans. Freedom is not free. If it were not for the sacrifices of the “Greatest Generation”, we would be speaking German or Japanese.

Sacrifice — get vaccinated, and wear a mask for the common good.

Gary Niemi

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