Years ago, in the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan made an offhand comment that for some reason has stuck in my mind for 30 years.
He was visiting a cannery operated for the benefit of the needy and run mostly by volunteers. After spending some time there he reflected (as near as I can recall) that “there is nothing in the world as generous as American good works.”
Perhaps it struck me at the time because I’m a British immigrant, and I wondered if it was really true that Americans were more innately generous than Brits or Australians or Japanese or anyone else. I can’t answer that question, but I do think that the American public is capable of quite extraordinary self-sacrifice and generosity.
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