Good losers

President Trump’s visit to London conjures up memories of the time I learned first U.S. President George Washington is honored in London with a statue on famed Trafalgar Square.
My wife and I were taking a tour of the city on our first visit and the guide was delighted to point out what good sports the British are by honoring the general who defeated them in the Revolutionary War. She also said that Washington had at first refused to be honored on British soil, so the Brits imported a piece of Virginia sod to place under the base of the statue.
Another version, I later learned, is that Washington had said he would never again set foot on British soil. Hence the reason for the Virginia sod.
No matter which version is correct this story represents a quality about the British that must be admired. I’ll take a good loser over a bad winner any day.
Later on that first trip to London, we met a long-lost cousin of my wife’s in Enfield Town where she lives with her family. Her husband, in his impeccable British accent, told us his teenaged daughter was learning in school that without the Americans there would be no Great Britain. “We will never forget that,” he said, “and we will not let our children forget it.”
That’s another British quality to admire: loyalty.

Ed Ackerman