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LONDON — Passers-by at the American Embassy, in the heart of London’s upscale Mayfair district, were greeted Monday morning by the disembodied voice of Ronald Reagan drifting through the air from large speakers — a prelude to the unveiling of a $1 million bronze statue of the former president here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth.
 In defiance of the usual Fourth of July sentiments, American and British flags were intertwined and placed into perfectly trimmed hedges in leafy Grosvenor Square. Hundreds of guests demonstrated the much-vaunted special relationship by lining up patiently, in the accepted British style, for American cuisine in the form of Fresh ’n’ Tasty Jumbo Hot Dogs and Dippin’ Donuts.

As the brass band of the United States Army Europe struck up “America the Beautiful,” an assembly of grandees — most of them conservatives like Reagan’s former speechwriter, Peggy Noonan, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — as well as a Congressional delegation led by the House majority whip, Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, mingled with leaders of Britain’s governing Conservative Party.   read more

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