As we remember and contemplate the costly sacrifice of lives in defense of our country, let's not forget the daily loss of American lives to a deadly yet insidious enemy: tobacco consumption. This treacherous enemy doesn't wear a beard, won't be targeted by cruise missiles, and actually comes wrapped in a figurative American flag - "Made in America."
As we honor veterans fallen on the field of battle - hundreds of thousands over the span of our nation's history - perhaps we might also calculate and contemplate the great number of veterans felled in their prime, lost to their loved ones and to society because they smoked and were addicted to that nefarious weed.
If the ultimate patriotism is the defense of our society against all grievous threats to its well being, we would do well to remember those fallen to tobacco-related diseases and marshal our social forces against tobacco addiction in a society-wide war against smoking.
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