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Road-trip glimpses of America's true worth

Despite persistent joblessness and taxing wars overseas, a summer road trip shows that the American spirit is alive and well.

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These are troubled times for Americans, as joblessness persists, the oil slick laps at the Gulf coastline, and Afghanistan takes a toll on the nation’s young soldiers.

But lest we forget, this is a land of extraordinary grandeur and remarkable people.

Our summer travels began in the West, where a young grizzly bear in Glacier National Park ambled across our car’s path against a breathtaking backdrop of mountain peaks stretching to the horizon.

In the middle of America, we arrived at Mount Rushmore at a moment of dusk and drama.

This was not Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” evading foreign spies atop the carved presidential heads. But there was the crack of thunder, and the flash of lightning across the presidential visages.

By day, the monument was a moving reminder of American values and freedoms.

About 300 miles away, the field of white headstones at Little Bighorn, scene of Custer’s last stand, was a reminder of history of another kind.

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