I’ve been digging.
It’s healthy, I think, to want to know where we come from, who our ancestors are, what our heritage is. I have always been interested in family history, but it has been especially weighing on my heart since my grandmother’s death last summer. My grandparents are all gone now. I knew them so little.
So I am digging. There is so much history to unearth, not just regarding my grandparents, but the entire history of my family. It amazes me to learn where these men and women came from, what they accomplished with their lives. And it further amazes me to realize that all of their challenges, convictions, and determination have led to their descendant (me) writing a blog post about her connection to them. It reminds me how small I am in this great world.
But it humbles me, too. It forces me to step back and look at the various threads woven together to create this tapestry. These were men and women who were willing to sacrifice everything for freedom. And it humiliates me, because I have to ask myself what I’ve been willing to sacrifice for freedom.
It’s easy to believe that freedom is honored by our government, by our fellow man. It’s easy to take for granted that blessed liberty that others have spilled their very life’s blood to secure. It is easy to presume that these liberties will always be protected by our government.
Those of us whose families have lived in North America for generations need to remember. We need to dispel the complacency we’ve adopted, as if our freedoms have always existed and always will.
It isn’t just the founding fathers who sacrificed–though they certainly did. It was not only their sacrifices that ensured our freedoms. It was the men and women who fought, who died–who still fight and die.
I always thought it was a declaration, but today I am convinced it need be our prayer:
Land where my fathers died
Land of the pilgrims’ pride
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring