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American - no hyphenPosted Monday, January 26, 2009, at 2:02 PM
I am tired of reading there are Americans out there that are only now proud to be American.
Maybe it is an age thing - but I have never not been proud to be an American.
Let me tell you a little story. I was across the pond in the mid- 1980's. We were in a little English village - several other students and instructors were on a study tour of Victorian era places and how they influences writers such as Charles Dickens, etc. We were there earning college credit and for me at least, it was a trip of a lifetime.
We were taking a stroll down one of the most quaint English village lanes one afternoon. We were admiring their gardens - we would call them back yards. We were pretty self absorbed - giggling etc. When we were approached by an older Englishman who was out for a stroll on that same lane. He stopped us and exclaimed - "Yanks".
Now that made us take notice because never had any of us been referred to as a "Yank".
The gentleman's name was Mr. Mottram. He was in his 90's at the time. He was literally excited to meet us. He said with a tremble in the voice and a misty eye - the Yanks had saved his country and he was forever in our debt - meaning the American troops. He then invited us into his garden. He just was literally falling all over himself with hospitality. He was a postcard illustrator by trade. Mr. Mottram and his wife had lived there their entire lives. He just went on and on. He gave each of us one of his postcards. We in turn took pictures of him. He told us a bit of history of his village as well. He even walked a bit with us.
I have never forgotten the gratitude he expressed to a bunch of Americans from a state college he had never heard of before. It made no difference to him that most of us in our group weren't even born until a couple of decades after the WWII. We were from America and he was indebted to the USA even forty years after the war had ended.
The point being - I am proud to be an AMERICAN (notice no hyphen). I have always been proud to be an AMERICAN. I always will be proud to be an AMERICAN.
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