I was showing an American friend who is leaving the UK around London for the last time. He pointed up at St Paul's and said that in his three years living here he had never visited the cathedral. So we went in.
Of course, Wren's masterpiece is one of the most spectacular buildings in the world, befitting its status as the cathedral of the capital. The Dome with its spectacular views; the Crypt, containing the tombs of many of the great and good of British History all help to give a visit to St Paul's a sense of occasion.
However, perhaps the most moving part of the cathedral is the American memorial chapel at the east end, behind the High Altar. It honours American servicemen and women who died in the Second World War and was dedicated in 1958. It was paid for entirely by donations from British people and the roll of honour contains the names of more than 28,000 Americans who gave their lives while on their way to, or stationed in, the United Kingdom during the Second World War. The three chapel windows feature themes of service and sacrifice, while the insignia around the edges represent the American states. The panelling incorporates a rocket - a tribute to America's achievements in space. It is a quiet and heartfelt homage to the sacrifices that Americans were prepared to make to defend the idea of freedom against Fascism.
In the crypt is a memorial to an American hero, Billy Fiske, who volunteered to fight with the RAF in 1939, breaking the American neutrality laws, but who was the first American casualty- dying in the Battle of Britain in 1940.
My colleague and I were very thoughtful. Proud of the depth of the roots of the alliance between Britain and America, and fiercely angry that that the arrogance and stupidity of President George W. Bush have damaged even such a deep friendship.