Our columnist bids farewell

AS LEXINGTON writes this, his 244th and final column on America, a black-and-white photograph looks down from an office wall. Taken in New York in about 1940, it shows your columnist’s late father, then a serious young man in his 20s, hard at work for a British government agency tasked with bringing America into the second world war. This mission involved both appeals to high-minded principle and to sentiment—tales of British civilian pluck were a staple—to counter the rhetoric of the America First Committee and other isolationists.

During two postings to Washington, DC, this Lexington has tried to remember that history lesson. America remains an indispensable nation. But understandably, the will to bear that burden cannot be taken for granted. For Americans to remain open to the world, at once leading and profiting from a post-war order that their country in large part designed, both heads and hearts must be won. With each new generation, that work needs repeating.

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