Whenever someone swears that all of Europe, especially the French, hate Americans, first off, I don't believe them. Surely other countries are smart enough to realize that we are not all our leaders -- we don't blame them all for their various nutty bosses.
And second, I want to make them read this: Ernie Pyle's column on the liberation of Paris during World War II. How can we hate each other when a mere 60 years we were sacrificing it all for each other?
Damn, that man could write. He was later killed, of course, by Japanese machine-gun fire on Okinawa, the same island where my dad fought during the war. So he saw Paris freed, but he never saw the peace he dreamed of, all so that those of us who weren't there (and those of us who came along decades later) could understand the sacrifice of those who were.
Excerpt: "I had thought that for me there could never again be any elation in war. But I had reckoned without the liberation of Paris. ... Once when the jeep was simply swamped in human traffic and had to stop, we were swarmed over and hugged and kissed and torn at. Everybody, even beautiful girls, insisted on kissing you on both cheeks. Somehow I got started kissing babies that were held up by their parents, and for a while I looked like a baby-kissing politician going down the street. The fact that I hadn't shaved for days, and was gray-bearded as well as bald-headed, made no difference. Once when we came to a stop, some Frenchman told us there were still snipers shooting, so we put our steel helmets back on."