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German Boilers?

dave_5
dave_5 Member Posts: 2
Does anyone have any opinions, good or bad about German made equipment, Viessmann in particular? ie replacement parts availability, reliability, servicability.
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Comments

  • Al_3
    Al_3 Member Posts: 79
    imports

    I haven't had any experience with Viessmann, but, have with Vallaint, another German made boiler, although they are far from comparable, Vallaint parts are getting hard to come by since they stopped importing to the US,or so I was told. Speaking of the word "import" reminds me of a bumper sticker on a long since retired service truck of mine,
    "Hungry? Out of work? Eat your import!!!! Just a thought.AL
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909


    Unless you live in Alaska, I would not worry about replacement parts for Viessman or Buderus.

    And even if there was a sudden shortage, it only takes a few hours for a plane to fly them across the pond!!

    Mark H

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  • kevin_5
    kevin_5 Member Posts: 308
    Two kinds of imports

    To me, there are things that are imported because they are cheap (junk) and the masses will buy them; then there are the imports that say "quality" from a mile away and are bought by the few who appreciate and can afford the extra value. I do not lump all "imports" together. There is a difference between Mercedes Benz and Hyundai. Kevin
  • Jed_2
    Jed_2 Member Posts: 781
    And then,

    3 or 4 days in Customs, a couple days at the trucking wharehouse, and then 1-5 days on the road. Hmmmm, not too bad.

    Jed
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    German stuff...

    I've used Viessmann pretty much exclusively for the past 10 years. I've never had a parts problem...EVER!! Always was able to get any part within 24 hrs. Their reliability is so high it's almost a moot point. The "manual overide" function on the boiler computer virtually eliminates urgency from control glitches. Like any other high tech product, they must be installed and set up correctly to work properly.

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  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
    German boilers

    Are the best from any standpoint I can think of quality wise. Buderus and Viessmann spend more money on R&D than what a lot of American boiler companies can claim as sales. Like Paul said, the failure rate almost makes parts a non-issue. Service that I have received from both companies is nearly faultless, (sometimes the distributor in the middle gets in the way). I'll give you a cae and point. A couple months ago I installed my first Vitodens. The job is about 80 miles from home but it's in a really "high rent" area I wanted to get my name out in. The homeowner wanted to help with the install and since he's the head engineer for Onstar at GM, I told him I'd be glad to let him. He messed up a little on the vent unbeknownst to me and to make a long story short, at 8:40 on a Friday night I called Viessmann's tech line. Within minutes I had suggestions as to what was wrong. Point is, I'm not aware of any American company that offers a 24/7 help line. Just one example of the level of service from the Krauts.

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  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    How good is it?

    This is a picture of a railroad track after the earth has been washed out by the flooding of the Elbe River. Unbelievably, the tracks are still together. Here in the states, we get temperatures over 90° for a couple of days the Amtrak rails buckle and the trains fall off. Why? This is how good some of the German stuff is.

    hb

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    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Al_3
    Al_3 Member Posts: 79
    Imports

    Am I the only one out there who feels that we should buy AMERICAN, not only at a time of war but always!!!! I realize that this is virtually impossible, but why not try to keep as much of our money here in the states as possible?
    Just seems like the patriotic thing to do. I don't just mean
    when we are at war, not a one of my service trucks are foreign made, all of my service techs are american, why should I sell or represent products that are not made in the country that I call home? I am as proud of my craftmanship & my trade as I am my country. Why wouldn't I want to keep as much of my money here as possible?
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Would it be

    unpatriotic to drive a Saab, VW or BMW? How about a Peugot? If the technology is enhanced, and it's not made in America, is it unpatriotic to own it? Most Americans watch TV on a Japanese made screens. The US wouldn't belong to the WTO if it didn't intend to have trading partners. And let's not forget that 80% of the imported oil comes from the Middle East. Gonna stop putting gas in your car or truck? It's a real strain for me to be sending petrodollars to Saudi Arabia, considering our present condition, than spending my money in Germany...for a machine that burns at higher efficiencies than American counterparts. I guess I'd have to re-evaluate if the boilers came from Afghanistan.

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  • Tim Gibbins
    Tim Gibbins Member Posts: 4
    German stuff

    Just looked at one of the new Buderus sealed combustion boilers the other day. The gas valve, control mod. and operating aquastat were all Honeywell. They had TRADELINE part numbers not OEM numbers. You could find these parts at any supply house.

    By the way, this new little boiler is so quiet most pumps make more noise!!!!!!!!!!! The only sealed unit I have heard that is quieter is the Vitodens. Ooops, thats German also.

    Happy Trails, gib
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    My clients......

    for the most part, want the finest equipment I can get my hands on. Viessmann, in my opinion, is the finest equipment. How am I not supposed to offer my clients the best equipment if that's want they are interested in. It's a disservice to them by not offering it. It's a shame this country does not produce heating equipment with the quality and comprehensiveness of the Euros. Cheap oil, has really undermined our quality of life, set us back as a trade and is slowly killing us. No incentive to improve. But even if "our" manufacturers realized what they are missing out and dramatically improved their offerings, it's too late. Most of us have already formed relationships with others long ago and probably wouldn't terminate those just because an "American" boiler company finally saw the light.

    Warm Regards,

    hb




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    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • John (jcg)
    John (jcg) Member Posts: 43
    Parts

    Everything you could possibly need for either of these fine boilers is readily available. Viessmann is in Rode Island and Buderus is in New Hampshire. Both companies are great in getting whatever you require to you as soon as possible. Actually the service is much better than most American boiler companies.

    jcg
  • John (jcg)
    John (jcg) Member Posts: 43
    IF

    All things were equal I would agree. If it weren't for companies like Toyota we would still be driving second rate American autos but Toyota and the other imported car companies forced the big three to clean up their act so I now drive an American car. The same holds true with boilers when an American Company starts to produce a boiler that matches that matches a Viessmann or a Buderus I would sell them.

    jcg
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909


    Not to mention

    that "stocking distributors" keep a decent supply of parts on hand.

    I've had bigger problems getting parts for domestic boilers.

    Mark H

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Eternal optomist

    that I am, I truly believe we will one day see our American companies catch up, then pass our foriegn manfucaturers in terms of reliable high efficiency equipment. I agree the underlying problem was cheap energy and complacency at the consumer level. But the times remind me of the energy shortages in the 70's and that kicked our auto folks squarely in the seat of their pants. Last winter's fuel bills doubled. We wouldn't be selling this equipment if there wasn't any demand and the American manufacturers are beginning to heed the call of commerce.

    Check out today's (Sunday) paper for this link! www.solardecathlon.com

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  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    That German 'tude

    Attitude that is. You know that "I'm so much better than you (American made) installers" is starting to soften a bit, finally :)

    That and the long awaited introduction of residential size condensing and sealed combustion models are starting to tweak my interest, hard, lately!

    hot rod

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    One day

    HR, if we live long enough or he doesn't retire first, we'll even see PP installing boilers from this side of the pond. As the Cajun Chef used to say "I giaaaarrrrannnnteeee it".

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,718
    Are we really \"at war\"?

    Hmmmmmm.... we're not rationing gasoline, you can still get new tires for your car whenever you want, we don't have any price caps, and you don't have to "pull strings" to get a replacement boiler or replacement controls. I haven't heard of any restrictions on getting new phone or electric service. And they have yet to convert auto makers' and appliance makers' assembly lines to build tanks and guns.

    All of the above happened during World War II, the last time America fought an all-out war (Korea and Vietnam were minor events in comparison). Those who lived through this period remember, and those of us who came later grew up listening to our elders telling us about it. It's easy to say we're at war, and quite another thing to live through it.

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    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    NO!!!!! AL ..you are not alone my brother..........

    If you haven't already gathered from loitering around here at The Wall, I am a fiercly patriotic and proud American. I almost exclusively install Burnham Boilers, sometimes Weil Mc Lain or Peerless, use Apollo ball valves, Wolverine Brass faucets, Charlotte Pipe, et cetera. i.e, I push America every chance I get. I also hire ONLY Americans, drive American trucks, look at every label on clothes et al.......Unfortunately, everyone does not think and feel the way we do. As much as I hate it, sometimes I do have to buy imports...American manufacturing is dissappearing and in many cases gone - we are almost completely a "Service economy." Additionally, if a customer calls me up, and wants Buderus or Viessman, I'm gonna accomodate 'em!!! you know what I'm sayin'???? They are a high quality product - that!!!! cannot be denied. What's going in my newly-renovated 125 year-old Victorian???? A Burnham Steam boiler and A Burnham Hot water boiler designated just for radiant. I'm doing a two-pipe steam system from scratch...why you ask? Am I nuts??? Yes!!!!!! and I love steam!!!!!!!! Anyway, you gotta give the Krauts their due. For a country that was roughly the size of New Mexico, The Huns, twice!in the Twentieth century were this close!!!!!to ruling ALL of Europe. They were master's of their own reality and had the most meticuluous, picayune standards of perfection. When they manufactured something you could be guaranteed of the highest quality and performance. They are arrogant and obnoxiuos, BUT!!!!! They deliver!!!!!!!!!! You don't have to like them or their products, but you vill!!! respect them. I've put a few Buderus in and one Vallaint (now defunct).....they do deliver, my man. God Bless America....Mad Dog

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  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Steamhead!!! I love ya babe, but!!!!!!!!!

    just ask the boys, and girls serving on the Afghani Front, some dying, if we are at war.....World war??? NO!!! But, that is a possibilty in the coming future. We all hope that it doesn't go that way, but it is these poor people that die in a training exercise that we here about every other week.. I respectfully disagree..your devoted freind and steam psycho...Mad Dog

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  • chuck shaw
    chuck shaw Member Posts: 584
    krauts?? Huns???


    If you dont want to use the products, you dont have to, but I would have thought the people on the wall would rise above ethnic slurs.

    Chuck Shaw
    Old Yankee Plumbing and Heating
    W. Wareham, MA



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  • eleft_4
    eleft_4 Member Posts: 509
    Lighten Up Already

    Very funny chuck!!! Chuck Shaw "Old Yankee" Plumbing and Heating. What's in a name anyway.

    Remember the one about sticks and stones.

    By the way how old?

    I remember no butter, powdered milk, spam, & war bonds very well.


    al
  • Mike Kraft
    Mike Kraft Member Posts: 406
    Buy American

    With respect(I do love my country)........So many large and small manufacturers leave this country.They manufacture and assemble in foriegn land.They are even floating @ sea.....to escape the taxation and the laws to pay a worker a fair wage.Thats not why I purchase German equipment.

    I gotta say though,dont lie to yourself when you "buy American"..........

    cheese
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Mutually exclusive.

    Being patriotic and spending money have nothing to do with each other. To say that the way I spend my money is a measure of my patriotism could be taken as an insult. I am sure there are folks who buy imported goods who cried just as much on 9-11 as someone who trys to buy American. Everyone should try to measure their words before saying/typing them.

    Warm Regards,

    hb

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    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Buying foreign goods is not tantamount to.....

    to treason - you are 100% correct. However, folks that go out of their way, and are willing to pay more for an American Made product due so out of Patriotism and a genuine concern for The American worker. These are the folks that keep Patriotism and Americanism alive and well between the periodic surges of mass patriotism (remember, the months following 9-11...all the flags and dirges of God Bless America that could be heard wherever you went....). Mad Dog

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Labor Day

    may well be the wrong holiday to open discussions regarding protectionism or patriotism. When my hometown Harley factory was besieged by foreign competition dumping cheap motorcycles in the US market, they asked for & got tariffs imposed on the imports. Instead of taking that for granted, they buckled down to figure out how to compete. They did such a great job, they asked the tariffs be lifted well in advance of their deadline. Today, they remain one of the strongest global competitors in the motorcycle market.

    Let's face one fact. The competition between virtually all manufacturers has become global. If nothing else assures that this trend will continue and that the world community will continue to keep shrinking, it is the internet.

    That competition is good for everyone & keeps us from becoming complacent regarding durability and quality is undeniable.

    American boiler manufacturers are just beginning to enter into the ultra-high efficiency markets. They'll no doubt stumble and skin a knee or two, but rest assured they will rise to the challenges and emerge as players both here and abroad. In the interum, it is not a reflection of patriotism, or lack thereof, by having a dedicated tradesman (or woman) purchase what they clearly percieve to be superior products compared to what is available in the US marketplace. My initial post regarding this issue (above) was meant as a tongue-in-cheek reply and certainly not done to start any animosity between people whose dedication to bettering our craft is above reproach.

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  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    C'mon Chuck.......gimme a break

    We have all sorts here who "loiter" at The Wall. I have respect for everyone here, including you, but please realize that we are not a monolithic mass. We are a varied group, with a myriad of opinions, talents and skills. Isn't this what keeps this place so vibrant? Fortunately, Political Correctness has not reared its ugly head here. We all have different styles and deliveries. Mine is blunt, honest, and from the hip...what can I say, I gotta be me..it's got me this far in life. As far as the "ethnic slurs".....People are way too sensitive about these things. I grew up in "The City" and worked there for many years. I've worked with people from just about every religion, race and ethnic group. The vast majority of these people are just regular working folks with a good sense of humor. We always had a lot of fun during work, making fun of eachother, telling ethnic and religious jokes. No one got offended, and we would share the best jokes about our own people. My friend Ellis, an American, black Muslim gave me his best jokes and I gave him my best Irish, Catholic, and German jokes. Political Correctness has already done terrible damage to our culture. Orwell's 1984 has become a reality. Anyway, my ancestors were Donkey- Micks and Krauts. My American uncles and great uncles shed their blood defeating The Huns and The Nazis in both World Wars. We must not take ourselves so seriuosly, we need to laugh at ourselves and laugh alot more - like we used to!!!! Remember! There is a world of difference between some jokes and nicknames and slandering one's ancestry. C'mon, Chuck..I'll buy ya a good German beer (Spaten???? perhaps) at the Gathering and tell you some good Irish jokes...Respectfully, Mad Dog

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  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Now, That's Incredible!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the pic...Mad Dog

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  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
    Ethnicity

    Who among us is "American". The fact of the matter is that durnnear everyone of us is an import. I haven't met any native American mechanics on the Wall, more power to 'em if they are!! All this thin skinned stuff about slurs rubs me the wrong way. If you look at any nationality or ethnic group, they all have their quirks. Take my lineage for example. Dutch. Both sides of the family moved here in the late 1800's. My Great, Great Grandad on mom's side probably hauled some of your forefathers over here on his clipper ship. He sailed out of Rotterdam and London to New York. The family fathers had moved to Holland from Germany in the late 1700's. Before that, as near as we can figure out, we were found in the Austrian region of Europe. (Think EBEL, like the watch company). Who here hasn't heard a good Dutchman joke. Lay it on me, please. They are usually about someone who is stubborn as a mule and ....... Hmmm, thrifty would be a polite way of saying it. Come on guys, American is as much a state of mind as being born here. The Red, White and Blue blood comes when you really begin to appreciate the fact that there is no country on earth that offers the opportunities afforded to us here regardless of where you came from.

    Proud to be an American

    Steve Ebels

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  • Harley-D

    Now there's an American success story.

    The 1st bike I worked on was my Dad's BSA 250cc, the 2nd bike I ever worked on was a WW2 "Cowhorn-handlebarred" sidevalve flathead, I was 13. In our school science lab, we stripped it down to the last nut & bolt and completely rebuilt it. That engine started on the VERY first kick, and I've Been completely smitten ever since. It hadn't been started since 1945 (4 yrs before I was born).

    Maybe I should get to the point...Every model of every Harley, has an owner, even BEFORE it's built. Harley sells every motorcycle it builds, in the PRECEDING model year!

    My buddy, Big Mike Pallozotto, in Big Lake LA. sold an acre for $5,200 the year H.D. went public. His wife & broker convinced him NOT to buy H.D. The stock they got went up a little.

    2 yrs ago he asked the same broker what he should do with another $5,000, but made him check to see what his "Harley" stock would have been worth if he'd got it back then with his original $5,200. They could have retired on that $1,400,000 worth of stock.

    Build quality and people will buy it.

    I wish there was an American equivalent of the Takagi gas tankless water heaters, I could sell the heck out of them!

    Have a great Labour Day, guys and Joannie. And be thankful we're working.

    Brian (not in Swampland anymore) Wood. I moved into a new/old home/place of business in town, and work picked up immediately.

    I preceded Gary UK/USA by 23 yrs, and am very glad I made the move.

    Brian USA/SWLA (Southwest Louisiana)

  • Bill NTSG
    Bill NTSG Member Posts: 321
    Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and..

    Chevrolet. I am as red white and blue as the next guy but..... after replacing at least 20 leaking V-&'s...... I have installed more than a dozen Viessmanns and almost as many of their indirects. I have got to say with out a doubt the quality is there! They are that good and more. Very well thought out and designed. Support and education ? I was amazed. It was like leaving high school and going to college. Ed Nordstrom is a very good teacher. I had the privelege of going to the Warwick RI school at least 6 times and once to Canada. All it cost was the plane fare and they picked up some of that.I am impressed with Buderus also. Put in 4 of them so far and one scheduled for next week. MUCH easier to service these "front door" horizontal boilers. I am an oil man by day and part time hydronician so I like having all the piping in the back out of the way it makes it much easier to clean and service. Burnham does have the Opus but..... I like the LE. But c'mon , single pass vertical flue sectional boilers or even vertical flue steel boilers , how much have they really changed since the 1950's ?? I aint' no Euro snob it's just that quality is quality and Viessmann is the Mack truck of boilers. Problem is here boiler sales are driven by cheap new home builders and cheap !@# customers who are "Going to be selling the house any way so put the cheapest boiler in"
  • Al_3
    Al_3 Member Posts: 79
    God Bless America!!!!!

    A pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, I think i've found the recipe to get things wound up here on the wall!!!! Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.AL
  • GermanPlumber
    GermanPlumber Member Posts: 49
    German boilers

    hello to all,

    it was good to read all the thoughts about german boilers and everybody is right a little more and less in my eyes. For me as a German Heating and Plumbing contractor living and working in the USA i see the both sides i guess. I do have to say i like german boilers better when it comes to fuel cost.I mean here we are happy to get 88 % Eff. The law in Germany says at least 90 % soot 0-1. >Then when it comes to controlls. Here we have to put it together and think about it( this why I believe you guys are better craftman) in Germany every thing comes from the company. I only have to wire which means put the blue plug in the blue socket. The quality is good never had really trouble. When the cam out with blue flame oilburners we had to learn and the smal wall hung units. But we have to learn our whole live i guess. >This is one reason why i love my job.
    Ok about import and better use domestic products. I can understand this. If you go to France you will not see a lot BMW or Daimler they drive Renault, Citroen etc there own brands. But the problem is if the domestic industry is not able to make good products the costumer will buy Made in Japan, etc. Just look at a lot products here in the USA,,MAde in China! Why because companys will make more profit and consumers are looking for a bargin. But i can see the market here changing a little bit . Burnham etc are not sleeping.

    We have to think Global and put all positive Energy together.

    All the best to all of you!

    PS Just placed a order Dan has really good stuff. He will make me poor. LOL
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Plug & Play

    Mario,

    Thanks for your perspective. We get self absorbed at times and may not see the forest through the trees. You mentioned the plug aspect of German manufacturers. I'm not sure that is a bad thing. While it does take a little of the creativity that some of us try and add to each project, the benefit of not having to spend the extra time to dial it all in is a positive. I am fortunate, in my area, in not having to have an electrician do all of my wiring. I go to great lengths to make sure my boards have an asthetic appeal and to have some electrician throw wire at it may cause.............well, let's just say issues. If I had to have my systems wired by others, I would be even more of a proponent of plug and play technology.

    Warm Regards,

    hb



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    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    German boilers

    I install Buderus boilers, and I do it because I feel its the best product for my customers and my company.

    My thoughts on buying American are that sometimes the line between Patriotism and Protectionism becomes very blurry. By purchasing an American product do we eliminate competition and allow a complacent product to dominate the market. Not allways but sometimes. Competition in the market place is what drives our economy. Do we eliminate competition because its not from our shores ?? Is'nt this sort of what the Russian used to do ? Yes our companys have competition from other American companys, but if no one gives them a kick in the pants, we get the same product with a different color scheme.

    Americans can compete in every arena but if there is no challenge we tend to sit on what works.

    Patriotism is with us allways, and not just after 9-11. Yes it has slowed down at times, but I dont feel we need to wave the flag every day to prove it. MY house has a flag flying all the time. Others how do not are not less Patriotic then me.

    Just a few thoughts ....
    My nieghbors in-laws where here for the 4th of July. I asked what their opinion was of the holiday. The biggest shock to them was how much we fly the flag. Germans just dont do that, maybe because of the nationly guilt, but still they where suprised.

    Nakita Krusheves (sp ?) son now lives in America. He was asked what are the big difference he see's between our countrys. He said Americans fly the flag MUCH more than the Russion people do. This was Before 9-11.

    We All love this country ... I just dont feel we need to Shout it every day to prove it.

    Scott "USA" Milne

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