The immense rimmed hat, tied with a multi-coloured cord, astonished us initially and worried us a little. It recalled for us cinema cowboys and a galloping Buffalo Bill (see in Wikipedia). But only a short while after their arrival, the Americans had already showed they were accomplished organisers and heroic soldiers. They passed by on the Lorraine roads and their lines of lorries extended interminably. In doorways, children crammed together to watch the foreign soldiers pass, clean shaven and nimble, and as a result there was between kids and troops the most cheerful friendship that endured until the last day. The "Sammies" when billeted, were the most good natured in the world, without any of the inconsiderate noise that was too often the expectation. Pockets full of sweets and cigarettes, they were the benefactors of kids and the tobacco deprived. They hung around with the girls, flirting respectfully and bilingually and animated the land with their boyish cheer and charm. If, the war finished and the task accomplished, specific interests turn to high level talking, let us remember that they have been for us, much more than allies, more even than comrades, friends.