I’ve been reflecting on the attacks in the UK over the last several months and while I cringe when I hear about this type of thing happening anywhere in the world, I must say that the UK attacks feel particularly close to home. Given that I have no close personal connections to the UK, I tried to determine the source of my great sense of connection. The answer came to me quickly…the attacks feel close to home because of the special relationship between the US and the UK.
As someone who tries to make sense of current events by learning from the past, I started Googling the idea of a special relationship between the two countries and found that is already an established “thing.” Presidents and Prime Minsters have used this phrase over the years to describe relations between the UK and the US. If you were to look up the phrase in Wikipedia, you will find a well-developed entry about the US/UK Special Relationship, but I’m not using the phrase in this generally accepted sense.
To me, the special relationship between The UK and the US, is, in a way, what the healthiest of divorces should ultimately become. Initially, after the split there is a period of conflict—let’s put the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 in that category, but after being together for so many years, the relationship evolves again with time. You realize that you speak the same language, share common interests, and let’s never forget about the kids. In these healthy divorces, there comes a time that the former partners respect what they had and look out for each other moving forward. You may no longer be living together, but the connection is deep and lasting.
So this American from New York offers this statement to the world: The US and the UK have a special relationship that will continue to stand the test of time, and when you attack the UK, you attack US.