Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/317

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY



OCTOBER, 1913



IMMIGRATION AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH
By Dr. ALFRED C. REED
NEW YORK CITY

I. The Nature of Public Health

THE age has happily passed when patriotism is measured in terms of human life sacrificed, and weighed in the balance of territorial or financial advantage. War has its heroes and mighty men who, fighting for man or cause, regardless of victory are accounted great. But the heroes and mighty men of peace who, for man and man's cause, fight the more terrible foes of ignorance, disease and public wrong, are coming to be accounted infinitely greater. 'No soldier opposing foreign foe was a truer patriot or died more nobly than did Dr. Thomas B. McClintic who, with no panoply of militarism, quietly and unfalteringly with his own life helped pay the price of the conquest of Rocky Mountain spotted fever last summer in the Bitter Root Valley of Montana.

Truly it is sweet to die for one's country. But even in the battles of peace the need of this sacrifice is rare. Greater is the need and grander the opportunity to live for one's country, and wage war against the powers of ignorance, indifference, disease and degeneracy. And this is the essence of the newer patriotism, which in no way removes or lessens the ancient duty of defending the land and honor of one's country, but at once idealizes and transcends that duty. If this be true, it follows that the man who is awake to his civic responsibility and who appreciates the honor of his American heritage will be in hearty sympathy with all agencies engaged in this distinctly modern line of endeavor. He will take part in, and aid to his utmost ability, those influences making for a cleaner and better America, because he realizes that this is not only his opportunity but his patriotic duty.

It appears therefore that the subject of the public health must not