A simple ceremony Monday in Providence, R.I. may have represented the final tolling of the bell marking the death of Communism.
Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet premier and Cold War warrior Nikita Khrushchev, became a citizen of the United States.
Forty years ago the elder Khrushchev told then-Vice President Richard Nixon, "In another seven years we will be on the same level as America. When we catch you up, in passing you by, we will wave to you." He was a firebrand for Communism, declaring that Soviet Communism would "bury" the United States, taking off his shoe and pounding it on his desk at the United Nations in protest of some action.
But Nikita's son buried his own Communist past in 1991, when he and his wife moved to the United States. He came here as a visiting instructor in Cold War history at Brown University in Providence, where he still teaches. The younger Khrushchev, according to the Associated Press, had been an important missile engineer for the Soviets.
Now he's as American as they come, with a Pontiac and a Buick in the driveway of his suburban home.
"I'm feeling like a newborn. It's the beginning of a new life," an AP reporter quoted the 64-year-old Sergei saying after taking the oath of citizenship.
We're glad he's seen the light.
A tragic accident in Phoenix Monday underscores the need for parents to be ever-vigilant with their young children.
A 2-year-old girl died after the toddler fell out of her mother's four-door sedan and was run over by the car.
Police were investigating whether the child unlocked the passenger-side door and fell out, or whether the door was not shut properly.
What is not in question is that the child had not been in a car safety seat, as required by law.
We all think such tragedies can't happen to us. But it happened to this saddened Phoenix mother in the blink of an eye. It's a lesson none of us should have to learn.