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Reader's View: Sacrifice needed, not selfishness

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My parents were from the Greatest Generation. They understood the meaning of sacrifice. They went through the Great Depression, with 25% unemployment, soup lines, and tremendous losses of businesses. And it didn’t last for a few months; it lasted 10 years.

Just after the end of the depression they had to experience World War ll. Trade was disrupted, so there was rationing of food and fuel. Women joined men in the factories to build planes, tanks, and ships for the war effort. Men and women joined the military to fight for our freedom. Approximately 1 million were injured or gave their lives for that freedom. That is true sacrifice.

Today, with the coronavirus, we are seeing tremendous sacrifice by health care workers; first responders; military personnel; and people who work at grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential businesses. We see many volunteers working to help those who are less fortunate during this pandemic. This is what sacrifice is all about.

We also see people who continue to disregard the White House and Centers for Disease Control guidelines on social distancing, wearing masks, and staying home. This is not just for your protection but to keep you from infecting others. This behavior will continue to overburden our health care system and those making sacrifices for all of us. I would define this behavior as selfishness, not sacrifice.

We all want our lives back, to have it the way it was. That won’t happen until we find a cure and/or a vaccine for this virus. What we eventually will see is a new normal, very different from the way it was, which will require us to do what is in the best interest of all people — not just you or me. That is what true sacrifice is about.

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J. Doug Pruitt

Knife River

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