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American - no hyphen

Posted 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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Thank you for those commenting for catching the point. I appreciate it. Unless a person is sleeping during history classes, there are incidents and societal behaviors in which no reasonable individual would agree were anything less that brutal or barbaric. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, that is why it is called history. Hopefully we can learn from the mistakes and missteps previously taken.

Granted our country and its citizens are not perfect but I would like to think the vast silent majority are proud they are American. My point was bemoaning the fact national pride shouldn't be conditionally based on election results and that we do have friends around the world because our country "had their backs" as it were.


-- Posted by coolidge on Tue, Jan 27, 2009, at 11:38 AM

Well said, Betsy, I met people of that remembrance, when I enjoyed a short time there.

bigsurmac, Shalom. I am in agreement with your words, as something none of us should ever forget, nor neglect. I must disagree with your manor of presentation, and the frequency of your reminders. You seem to love the 'cake,' in which you live, but have frosted it with brine-water frosting.

I am very sorry you have so much unhappiness in your heart, that you feel you must, so often, 'rain' on the nice things people say.

In Messiah, His Shalom, and healing. Arley

-- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 8:25 PM

I totally agree with you Betsy!!

-- Posted by Lev1 on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 7:46 PM


A Veteran of the Korean "police action" with months time in an army hospital and scars for souvenirs.

But, there have been times when I felt great shame for my country.

When three little girls died in an Alabama Church Bombing.

When three college students were murdered and buried within a earthen dam in Mississippi.

When a Detroit housewife was shot to death at the wheel of her car because she was a "marcher."

When J.F.K., R.F.K. and M.L.K. were murdered by the haters.

When a black veteran was dragged to death behind a pickup at Jasper, Texas about three years ago.

When four teenage punks from far southwest New Mexico robbed and raped [with impunity] the region's "long walkers" crossing the Rio Grande.

We have the best political, economic and social systems on the planet, just so long as they work for everyone.

When any are excluded, our systems are no better than any others.

The U.S.A. is better than virtually all other political entities on this planet, but we aren't perfect -- and at times there is reason for shame.

-- Posted by bigsurmac on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 3:02 PM

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