Memorial Day USA

I've been called to task a few times for my anti-Americanism. Australasians are rudest to their friends. The USA's Memorial Day would seem to be a good one to acknowledge the debt I - we - owe to the USA.

This day is about remembering war, and for me there are two wars that especially matter: the Normandy landings and the war for the Pacific. If the USA had not come to our aid in both, I'd be eating whale now and working myself to death (and you Europeans would be a lot more unified). So thank-you to all those brave Americans who fought with us and especially those who gave their lives for freedom.

This day should also be about remembering peace, and especially the peace that came from the balance of power between the USA and the USSR. I have no doubt the USA stemmed the tide of totalitarianism after the Second World War. They did it imperfectly and they often acted in their own interests - both of which are characteristics of politics everywhere. But the underlying principles were good ones. The American Empire made a contribution to world freedom in the second half of the 20th Century that future historians will acknowledge, and Americans died enforcing it. That power is on the wane now: I worry that my son may not enjoy the same Pax Americana that I did. Again thank-you USA.

Lest we forget.


Thanks and no worries

I read your post regarding our Memorial Day holiday with interest. As the only American born child of a family who fled Communist dictatorship I often feel deeply proud of this country's contributions to the world. Your gratitude and respect for our fallen is appreciated. Furthermore, if we listen to our veterans with care we will also hear of the great respect and friendship they felt to the men and women of your nation who rose valiantly to its defense. Bravery, courage, and honor were not exclusively our domain. To that end we should not be so thin skinned nor so quick to require recognition. The citizens of the US must not forget (but too many are quite quick to do so) that we owe our freedom from the British in part to the assistance we received from our French and European allies. Were it not for them the outcome of our Revolutionary War might have been different. It would be good for us to remember that it is naive to think the world will continue to overlook the mistakes we make because of the good that we have done. As such, we need to listen to the criticisms of our allies (both longstanding and new) if we are to continue living up to the ideals we hold dear. I know it's immensely presumptuous of me (I am, Amerinan, after all :-D) but on behalf of my country I would like to say "no worries, mate". Not all who praise us are truly our friends and all who those who criticize us are not necessarily our enemies.

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