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Monday, July 04, 2005

On being an American

Julie Cohen posted this little quiz on her blog. And given that today is the Fourth of July, I suspect it is as good a time as any...to fly the flag so to speak. Given that I have lived in the UK for the last 17 years, I was somewhat surprised at my score of 71% but nostalgia runs deep. Some of my ancestors came over on the third boat after The Mayflower -- the Anne. Others came with the Massachusetts Bay Colony and so forth. Equally, I do try to make sure my children are aware of their heritage. And my paternal grandfather was a career Naval officer, who retired as a Rear Admiral.
My eldest was surfing the net the other day and came across the memoirs of a man who served under him. My grandfather was described as the model of a good officer and a gentleman -- firm but fair. In WW2 my grandfather won a bronze star for sinking the submarine that sunk the Yorktown. His medals now hang in my dining room. When I was very little I did not understand about Admirals and perks accorded to them. Iused to wish he was captain so that he could have been in charge of a boat. My mother pointed out that an Admiral was in charge of a fleet. I can remember cringing when we were given a private tour of the USS Enterprise and then sent to the head of the line for food. Why were we being singled out like that? Or another time, my grandfather was taking me out to lunch at the Officer's Club and parked in a space reserved for Admiral of the Pacific Fleet. I suggested we park else where --and he turned to me in his SOuth Carolinian drawl and explained but that was what he was.

It would be interesting to see where I scored on How British Are you?

3 comments:

Kate Hardy said...

Happy 4th July, Michelle! And how interesting that you can trace your ancestors that far back. Have you ever been tempted to use the Mayflower or the Anne as a setting? (Or do a naval book, because of your grandfather?)

Michelle said...

Enjoy the holiday! Are you doing anything to celebrate?

Kate Hardy said...

Not me, but my neighbour's American so will probably do something. They normally have a BBQ, but it's been raining hard all day here today...

Biddy's found a Brit quiz - check out her blog! (And if you get less than 100% on it, I'll be surprised!)