From Chicken Soup for the Soul of America

Tribute to the United States

[EDITORS’ NOTE: This timeless editorial, written almost thirty years ago, comes from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian commentator.]

This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for Americans—the most generous but possibly least appreciated people on Earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. Today, none of these countries is paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, the United States hurries in to help. This spring, fifty-nine American communities were flattened by tornadoes.

Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped a lion’s share of dollars into depressed countries. Today, newspapers in those same countries write about the decadent, war-mongering Americans.

I’d like to see just one of the countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don’t they fly them? Why do all the international lines except Russia fly American planes?

Why does no other land on Earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technology and you get radios. You talk about German technology and you get automobiles. You talk about American technology, and you get men on the moon—not once, but several times, and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to see. Even their draft-dodgers were not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from back home and spending them here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them even an old caboose. Both companies are still broke.

I can name you five thousand times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced everything alone, and I’m one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their noses at the countries who gloated over their present troubles.

I hope Canada is not one of those countries.

Gordon Sinclair

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners