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Friday, November 1, 2013

Winston Churchill, An All-American Hero

This week, a bust of Britain’s greatest leader was installed at the heart of the Capitol building. So why does the cult of Winston still hold Washington in thrall? 
 
Inside the Freedom Foyer: 'We shall get the Americans in by showing courage and boldness and prospects of success and not by running ourselves down,’ Sir Winston Churchill said of winning US assistance in the war Photo: Getty Images

This week, the elite of American politics gathered in Washington DC to unveil a bust of Winston Churchill at the Capitol building. The rotunda where he now sits immortalised in bronze, and looking a little perplexed, was renamed the Freedom Foyer for the occasion. John Kerry, the Secretary of State, listened as John Boehner, the leader of the House Republicans, gave a passionate speech of dedication. “Ladies and gentlemen,” said Mr Boehner, “this is one of history’s true love stories. Between a great statesman and a nation he called 'The Great Republic.’ ” The famously sentimental Republican wiped tears from his eyes as the crowd listened to a recording of Churchill addressing Congress following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Afterwards, Roger Daltrey of The Who sang Stand by Me – a tribute, Mr Boehner said, to “the best friend the United States ever had”.

All in all, it was a very American ceremony to celebrate the life of a very British icon. So why do our transatlantic friends love a foreign former prime minister so much? 

Read more at The Telegraph >>


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