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March 9, 1950
Pan American Airlines rerouted a C-46 Commando, then serving as a cargo plane, to the Dutch West Indies in order to rescue an American 3-year-old who had been stricken with Polio. They did this as an act of charity with no cost to the boy’s family. Given the spirit of the American people after having come through the most massive war in human history, it was just what an American company would do. I was that little boy, and thanks to Pan American and many others, I was able to get the therapy I needed and go on to have a wonderful life, though I was not able to serve my country in the military as virtually all of my forebears had.
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What is American Tribute Online?

It is not a company, not a business, and not a non-profit organization. For now, it is an idea. And though the idea has been coming together from a number of thoughts and feelings about America for decades, the idea is still in its infancy.

It starts with how much I love this country. I well up when I stand for the national anthem. I think about all the things that make this country great, things like how we came together as a people to win World War II, how we built the world’s most impressive manufacturing power, things like the American West, and small towns, and great cars, and good people who look after one another, and a magnificent tapestry of immigrant cultures. For me, loving this country is an emotional thing, perhaps because of the family and the time I grew up in.

And now in 2017, at the age of 71, I am saddened by how divided we have become over such things as political parties and labels, hot-button issues of race and national security, when really we are all American, and I believe we all love this country for many of the same reasons.

So I have set out on a journey to build a series of web sites that identify and pay tribute to and celebrate those American things we can come together on and appreciate together.
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Some personal history. In the 1950 newspaper photo at left, the 4-year-old boy with a crutch in the foreground is me. The tall boy with the white shirt and the necktie is the national poster boy for the March of Dimes. The boy on the right is from a community in New Jersey presenting a piggy bank filled with dimes that had been collected. This whole country, people from all walks of life in every community, came together after World War II to give dimes to help kids who had been stricken with polio. I was one of those kids. My America is the country that pulled together to take care of me when there was no way that my dad on a modest salary could have afforded the year of therapy I received in two different community-sponsored hospitals.
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© 2019 Phil Dickinson
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This site is part of the American Tribute Online project. It is not a commercial site, and it is not associated with any museum or other organization. The purpose of the project is to celebrate our American heritage and provide an online resource for showcasing the America that we can all be proud of.
There is no paid advertising or listing on this site