Commentary by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow — As most readers are aware, I have lived and worked both in England and here in the U.S.; this being 12 years in Kansas and five years in Michigan during the 1980s. Living and working in the U.S. has been a privilege and given me an opportunity to view the cultures of both countries. I am often asked “which country do you prefer?” My answer is that I miss the things of America when I visit England and, equally, I miss some of the things of my home country when here in the U.S.
In Europe as a whole, it is a good thing to be American! You are most likely to be greeted with genuine friendship and affection. Speaking personally, I have been similarly greeted here in the U.S. There is definitely a feeling — almost — of two nations and one country. By example, after 911 Britain held a one minute silence across the whole country.
All traffic stopped on the major motorways, people came out of their homes and workplaces for a time of respect and condolence for America’s loss. I clearly remember standing in a circle with around 40 other people, who had emerged from their businesses to pay our own silent respect. It was eerily silent, because the whole country had brought itself to a standstill. It was very moving.