Letter: What foreigners adore about the U.S.

Posted 9/4/20

Daily I hear citizens complaining about America’s ills and flaws, so I researched the benefits and advantages we enjoy here in the U.S. that others all over the world envy.

The American news …

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Letter: What foreigners adore about the U.S.


Daily I hear citizens complaining about America’s ills and flaws, so I researched the benefits and advantages we enjoy here in the U.S. that others all over the world envy.

The American news site REDDIT, and websites THRILLIST and QUORA, to which thousands of foreigners subscribe, listed what those from other countries envy us for. First is our work ethic that allows those who choose to labor hard and make sound choices, the chance to succeed and excel.

Foreigners respect the drive of Americans. Safe, peaceful, rural areas appeal to them, particularly farms and ranches. Our accessibility and accommodations for the disabled are absent in some of their countries.

Another plus are the multiple supermarkets and stores open 24-7, as well as the variety and surplus of items for purchase. One Asian appreciated U.S. roads because in her native country it took two hours to get from her home to place of employment, although only thirteen miles away.

One Brit also liked the cheaper home prices when compared to his own country: the cost of a villa in Florida comparable to a semi-detached three-bedroom house in the U.K. Big living spaces seemed awesome to an Asian in Hong Kong, where an average flat is 300 to 500 square feet; anything over 1,000 square feet considered super-luxurious.

Also on the wish-list is our variety of entertainment, sports events, fine museums, concerts, theater and Broadway. One Russian admired the cleanliness of our streets, where dog owners clean up after their pets, while she sees dog poop every place she walks in her own country.

Tolerance for diversity was high on the list, and tolerance for differing religious beliefs. The myriad of gorgeous landscapes, from the wilds of Alaska, to the Arizona desert, to the majestic mountain peaks out west, were also mentioned.

But at the very top of the list are probably the most significant of all – patriotism and freedom. One Australian on a visit to the U.S. was impressed by the prevalence of flags waving from public buildings, as well as so many American homes. He was also impressed that many Americans loved their country so much as to be willing to die for it, evidenced by military graves and cemeteries all over the land.

In addition, the American Dream was high on the list, the belief that with hard work, persistent effort and diligence, anyone can pursue his personal ambition; whereas in India, the caste into which you are born determines your chances of a happy life.

And, not surprising, freedom topped the list – the ability to say and do whatever one chooses, without coercion or fear of reprisal. These are the bonuses we are blessed with every day, which is why we tend to take them for granted.

Those from elsewhere who are denied many of the above advantages envy us and is the reason why there are so many teeming at our borders. But I fear we are rapidly losing some of these cherished ideals in the wake of our present challenges. The freedom to speak without fear of intimidation, for one.

Next, the cleanliness of our streets with our homeless population. The desecration and vandalism of our once respected public edifices.

As I have said before, despite the current ills in America, we are still envied around the world for our democratic way of life. I thank my lucky stars that my predecessors chose to immigrate here at the turn of the century, built businesses and better lives for their families. I am the beneficiary of their labor and their efforts and extremely grateful and proud to be an American.

That is why I sincerely regret that a parishioner at St Mary’s last week objected to a song by that title that celebrates not only this country but was also intended to commemorate a local Bristolian, P. Andrew McKenna, who made the ultimate sacrifice. Because of his valor and that of other dedicated patriots, we remain the “best hope for mankind” on the face of the Earth; all would be better to contribute to our greatness, rather than our diminishment.

Donna DeLeo Bruno

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