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Date: 2024-06-19 Page is: DBtxt003.php L0900-TS-USA-state-song
The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Parody)

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Many a true word spoken (sung) in jest
This may not be academic ... but the truth of this song resonates ... it gives me hope.
Peter Burgess COMMENTARY
There is a big difference between 'National Pride' and 'Modern Nationalism'. The first makes quality of life better and the latter tends to get used to benefit some powerful elite with the rest of the society left behind to pick up the pieces.

I grew up in the UK ... born in 1940, I experienced the challenges associated with winning a critical World War ... WWII ... and in the process bankrupting an Empire. But, in my mind this was the right thing to do, though not widely appreciated how high the price the people of the UK actually paid in order the win the war!

At the onset of WWII a huge amount of the world's gold was owned by the UK Treasury and in the vaults of the Bank of England in London. By the end of the war. to pay for the military support provided by the United States most of the UK gold was paid to the United States and transported to Fort Knox.

When the gold was depleted the United States sold Britain military equipment and supplies on credit ... a program called 'lend-lease' which delivered the purchased material now, but called for payment later. This helped Britain (and the United States and the Soviet Union) to win the war, but in 1945 at the end of the war, Britian had a huge 'lend-lease' debt which took many years to repay. I was born in 1940, but the UK was still repaying the US debt when I went off to boarding school in 1953 ... 8 years after the end of the war Britain was still functioning with 'rationing' for almost all food and consumer products. I recall at one point in the early 1950s when the british economy was struggling that the meat ration amounted to just 2 sausages per person per week!.

Frankly, I am immensely proud of what the people of Britain ... both in the military and in the general population did to win the war ... but more than a little disappointed at how little this is appreciated outside the UK and especially by Americans and particularly young Americans. Canadians are better informed in large part because many Canadians were embedded with the British military and had common purpose with Britain to defeat Nazi German a long time before Pearl Harbour and the entry of the USA into the war!.

Since that time and during my adult lifetime, I cannot pretend to be proud of America's foreign policy and support for 'development assistance' arund the world ... but that should be discussed elsewhere!
Peter Burgess
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