Two weeks into the COVID quarantine, and things are looking serious. Each day, there are enough people dying to have filled my small church. In my mind’s eye, I imagine them—mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sons, and daughters—all perfect strangers, filling rows in our sanctuary. Then they blink out, there and gone, their souls floating off to whatever destiny they forged in life.

Each day, I pray that the death count will be low. That’s the phrase I use—”death count.” It’s surreal to be in the grip of history sufficient to pry those words from my lips. And yet, even as I grieve for those swept away too soon, I am in awe of the thousands of brave and brilliant Americans who are on the front lines fighting this invisible enemy. Their courage, compassion, innovation, and grit demonstrate what it means to be American. Their spirit is our national heritage. I hope it will also be our legacy.

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