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**Excerpt from the Article, Following Twain's mark at 9 mph, by Mim Swartz.  Published in the Denver Post, September 14, 2003.

[R]iverboating on the American Queen is pure Americana. It is why most of us are here, in addition to the lure of The River. We want to feel patriotic with other Americans.

This is evident our last night. Engaging piano man Phil Westbrook, who never fails to come up with anyone's request, is playing in the Captain's Bar. For his closing number he calls up two darling little girls, Kayla and Lauren.

Here we are, in the Heartland of America, on an American-owned boat with an American crew. Westbrook plays and they sing Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."

It's the final verse that gets us:

"I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA."

We stand and applaud. Tears stain Kayla and Lauren's pretty little cheeks. And mine. There isn't a dry eye in the room.

And Ol' Man River just keeps rollin' along.

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