Is be­ing Amer­i­can all it’s cracked up to be?

The Amherst News - - COMMUNITY - Wal­ter Jones Wal­ter Jones col­umn ap­pears ev­ery week in the Amherst News.

Walt’s World

I of­ten won­dered why af­ter gain­ing their in­de­pen­dence from Great Bri­tain, the 13 colonies didn’t pick a name for their coun­try. Af­ter all, just say­ing you are the United States wasn’t enough, then they had to add of Amer­ica.

Since there are a num­ber of coun­tries, in­clud­ing our­selves, who are also en­ti­tled to call our­selves Amer­i­cans, they were be­ing very ar­ro­gant, or unimag­i­na­tive.

It might have been in­ter­est­ing when the south­ern states se­ceded from this union, and if they had won the Civil War. Would they then have stuck with the United States theme?

The north­ern United States and the south­ern states, also of the Amer­i­cas. I was born when the United States was in its glory days. hav­ing been forced into the war by the bomb­ing of Pearl Har­bor, they im­me­di­ately be­gan mak­ing news reels and movies telling ev­ery­one how they were win­ning the war.

I, be­ing young and im­pres­sion­able at the time, be­lieved ev­ery word. Af­ter the war, Dwight Eisen­hower, who was elected pres­i­dent in the early 1950s, was in my es­ti­ma­tion one of my great­est in­flu­ences.

He was Al­lied com­man­der in chief in Europe dur­ing the war, so he was al­ready my hero. He signed the Civil Rights Act and in­te­grated the schools, ex­panded the so­cial ser­vice and spent mas­sive amounts on build­ing su­per­high­ways across the United States.

In those days, I even con­tem­plated mov­ing to the United States. I am glad now that I never made the ef­fort.

The United States had some high spots when Jack and Bobby Kennedy gave hope of a new era, but af­ter their assassinations, as far as I am con­cerned, they went down­hill. Now we have Pres­i­dent Trump and we had some for­get­table pres­i­dents in between, al­though I did like Jimmy Carter. His brother Billy was an­other story.

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