John Eckstein: This country is culturally America

A view of the Statue of Liberty is seen from New York Harbor on Sept. 14, 2022. 

A view of the Statue of Liberty is seen from New York Harbor on Sept. 14, 2022.  AP PHOTO/SETH WENIG

Published: 05-23-2024 7:51 PM

Razvan Sibii’s thoughtful column questioning referring to this country as “America” raised interesting points for me when I read it this morning [“Should ‘America’ be a synonym for USA?” Gazette, May 21]. While viewing the recent biographical film on Paul Simon this afternoon, I came to the point of his poignant song “America.” I realized that everyone hearing the song would immediately and without any doubts understand the specificity and meaning of the refrain: “all come to look for America.” America as a country, an idea, an aspiration, and a cluster of identities is a part of the world’s culture. Without the directional modifiers, we know what is being referenced, and it is more than the personal identity of “Americans.” Nobody should ignore the existence of the other nationalities in the countries of the American continents, but “America” for better or worse, is taken.

John Eckstein


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