My 90-year-old father recently emailed me a photo of himself, standing amid the sea of white crosses at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. It was on the same day that President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, to the almost universal dismay of our allies. It was simply one more step in Trump’s march to isolate and disengage the U.S. from the world around us, all to the rallying cry “America first.”

I was especially struck by Trump’s declaration that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” I wondered if FDR, in those dark years leading up to 1941, considered that he had been elected to represent the people of Lansing, not those of London. Perhaps JFK should have remembered that his role was to safeguard the interests of Boston, not the people of Berlin.

Looking at those rows of crosses that stand sentinel above the beaches of Normandy, I can’t help but imagine that somewhere among them is one that marks the resting place of a young man from Pittsburgh. His death there was an affirmation that to be an American is to be willing to die for the values, the principles, the freedoms that actually do make America great. That greatness means, above all, to be willing to take a stand, for Paris as much as for Pittsburgh.

Mr. Trump’s tweets and rhetoric may represent his own myopic view of a new world order, but it is a view the majority of Americans do not share.

To our friends around the world, and most especially to our fallen above the beaches of Normandy, I would say, we have not forgotten who we are, this is not the United States of America –”This is not us!”

William Klingelhofer

Rockport