Only 87 entries separate America and amnesia in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Tenth Edition. Perhaps the name of our nation and the term designating memory loss live in the same lexical neighborhood because they are so fond of each other. I like to imagine them taking road trips together, drinking cognac, smoking cigars and reminiscing about days gone by. But the reminiscing part poses a problem. Amnesia is memory loss based on physical trauma or selectively ignoring events that cause discomfort; America is a great nation with a proclivity toward overlooking its painful past. Eureka! America and amnesia are friends of convenience. One doesn’t want to reminisce, while the other is incapable of it.