The 8th of May is the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. It’s the day that history books tell us that Adolf Hitler surrendered to hard-knuckled U.S. General George Patton, who promptly slapped the Führer around, persuading him to kill himself in his bunker, saving everyone the trouble of an expensive trial.
To be honest, I’m a little surprised that an American holiday like VE Day is celebrated over here, but I guess it gives the people of Britain a chance to thank us for saving their asses. In fact, since moving to Britain around 10 years ago, every VE Day, I pay tribute to the brave Americans who single-handedly won the war, by going around reminding every person in London that I can find that:
“If it weren’t for us, you’d all be speaking German”
Generally, my British friends seem very pleased when I say this to them. Often they give supportive replies such as “up your arse you bloody Yank.” It was indeed a bloody war for us Yankees, and I appreciate the reference to the old traditional British toast: “Up my arse and down to my bottom” – as I think the saying goes.
But last year, a British person once had the nerve to call me “arrogant” for giving him this basic history lesson, if you can believe it! I know that I personally didn’t fight in World War II, but every American citizen bears exactly as much credit as the soldiers who fought and died fighting the Nazis- after all, I pay my taxes and I support our troops with a carefully-placed decal on the bumper of my car !
Not everyone learns the lessons of history though. One of my best friends over here hails from a European city called Hannover, and when I shared with him my standard factoid about how he’d speaking German right now if not for me, a rather confused look came over his face, and then he became quite silent. It’s pretty obvious he had no idea how important the war was, and probably never paid attention when they were covering it in his school. A school that probably would have taught him in German if it weren’t for good Americans like me. Some people, huh?
To make sure all of Europe knows the great accomplishments of America, I’ve put together this list of other occasions when America saved everyone’s asses. Because to forget history is to be repeated to doom it, as that other saying goes:
|Threat to the world||Key American hero|
|Godzilla (A gigantic nuclear-powered monster that breathes fire)||Matthew Broderick, genius American member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission|
|The Matrix (Artificial Intelligence programme coupled with machines harvesting human beings for bio-electricity)||Keanu Reeves, a computer hacker, also known as “the One” was born in Hawaii. That’s part of America !|
|Giant asteroid hurtling towards Earth||Bruce Willis, deep sea drilling specialist who literally gives his own life to save the world.|
|The league of shadows, led by a masked madman calling himself “Bane” takes over an American city, threatens the world with nuclear weapons||While no one knows Batman’s secret identity, everyone knows he’s American.|
|World War II||Every single American who has ever lived.|
One of our greatest Americans: Kevin Kline, in a scene from the 1988 documentary “A Fish Called Wanda.”