During WWI, millions of British people actually met Americans for the first time as they were stationed overseas. The result was America and England became as close as they’d ever been:
One of the incidentals of the war is the fact that great masses of American troops pass through England or are temporarily stationed there. Thus the towns and villages and countryside places have had two great experiences, reacting on each other, the first being the inspiring and exhilarating knowledge that America had come into the war with her vast forces on behalf of civilization; the second, personal contact with the American soldiers, with all the homely knowledge of them that is bound to arise from a friendly curiosity.
This even culminated in England celebrating America’s Independence Day — a day that set in motion the process of England losing one of their most important territorial holdings a century and a half before.
The English are not demonstrative. There is little or no ringing of bells or waving of flags to signal various battle successes. There has been an instinctive avoidance of arrogance or jubilation at public meetings. But nevertheless on one occasion this year, namely, on July 4, the British people let themselves go.
A distinguished French journalist recently arrived in this country, who has spent some years in London, tells me he has seen no enthusiasm during the war comparable with that he witnesses in London on that day. “At the meeting in Central Hall there were fervid scenes which deeply impressed all foreigners who know how the Britishers have to be intensely stirred before they demonstrate at all. No one could have been in the streets or at that meeting without realizing how the heart of Britain was moved.”
Stars and Stripes on Many English Homes: What the “American Invasion of Britain” Has Done in the Way of Making the Two Nations Friendlier than Ever Before
Published: Sunday, August 25, 1918