.... “never, in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”, is considered to be one of the most memorable speeches delivered by Prime Minister Winston Churchill during WW II.  It was one in which he praised the gallant pilots who flew the Spitfires and Hurricanes against the Luftwaffe during the battle of Briton when the odds were unbelievably high. 
The battle of Briton changed the course of the war and saved the world.  The odds against those pilots were at best a hundred to one, and against Britton were even more, but not nearly as high as the odds against Rotary when it began the battle with Polio.
 This is the second time in history when that same phrase can so aptly be applied.  There are 1.2 million Rotarians in a population of 7.442 billion, fighting a battle that threatens not just a country with destruction, but the world.   A fight that is every bit as deadly and difficult as the battle fought over Briton, but fought mostly by a handful of women, protected by armed guards, carrying vials of vaccine, rather than bullets, walking door to door, instead of flying at 10,000 feet.
The 7,442,000,000 humans alive today still cannot go to sleep at night assured that they and their children will not be crippled for life by the dreaded Polio virus.  The virus is still among us, and the fight continues.  The 1.2 million Rotarians who choose to eradicate it in 1985, began a battle which has lasted years, not months but the odds against them was, and still is, a staggering 6,201, to 1.
Polio which has been eradicated from the United States for years is currently only active in two countries.  Fifteen children in Afghanistan and Pakistan have contracted Polio as of August, this year.  A massive response is now underway to contain this crippling and deadly disease, because, as those in the campaign well know, it can jump quietly from one region to another with surprising speed.
It is only a Plane ride away from our doorstep, and any day someone carrying the disease could show up unannounced right here in Marshall Texas, where hundreds of people are still unprotected, because they or their children have not received the vaccine or have not been vaccinated.
With no know way to stop it, that unfortunate Marshall child, or adult, would be crippled for life.  But, he of she would be just the point of the spear, which would shortly wipe out the entire family, their close friends, their neighbors, and all of the unvaccinated children in their schools.  Within weeks, all of Marshall would be quarantined and all schools, businesses, and churches would be closed.  Eventually, hundreds of people in Marshall would be doomed to death or to live the rest of their life in an artificial lung.
The irony is that most of the people in Marshall are completely unaware of that very real possibility.  But, over five hundred million doses of the vaccine are being administered in the remote villages and war-torn countries while you are reading this little article,thanks to Rotary.
This deadly fight is going on in order to prevent that one infected person from ever getting on the plane to Marshall Texas.
Thanks to Rotary, we are only a few years away from total eradication of Polio, then we, and our children and theirs, will have no fear of this evil disease, and that is one more thing that we will be celebrating in Marshall Texas, August 24, 2019, when we "Celebrate A Century of Changing Lives in Marshall and Beyond".