Yesterday was the day we as Americans celebrated our nation's beginnings. Fireworks, food, family fun generally encompassed those celebrations. From huge fireworks displays to more intimate family picnics, patriotism wass the theme. This year, an election year, I'm sure politics and the economy as well as Obama care were topics of discussion. Whichever side of the issues one lands on, as Americans, we want what's "best" for our nation.
My celebration was a bit unique in that it was peopled with friends and family who are citizens of the US, either born here or naturalized...and those who are citizens of another country but here through the military. The conversation was lively and enjoyable and led to my favorite part of the day.....family stories.
As we sat around the table enjoying espresso and/or prosecco with a variety of homemade desserts after a lunch of ribs with all the fixin's...conversation revolved around funny tales about our families. But there were also tales of the courage and determination of our ancestors. I was so glad my children were there to hear and be reminded of their heritage.
Their background includes a great grandmother who before WWII was one of very few women in Italy who drove cars and trucks and worked with her husband in the family Fiat business.....who during the war stood up to German officers who tried to make her leave her home so they could use it as a stable for their horses.....she won.....and who also hid a Jewish jeweler until he could be safely moved out of Italy. Then there was their great-great-great grandfather Nail who along with his three brothers enlisted in the Confederacy where they served with valor and all returned safely home to their families...and their great great great grandfather Shaw who as a Confederate soldier lost his arm in the Battle of Atlanta but returned home to farm his little bit of land. The artistic ability must come through the Italian side where their great grandfather's cousin, Pietro Annigoni, became famous as a portrait painter for royalty. So much history to share and of which to be proud..
Yes, we celebrated our country's beginnings but we also celebrated family and heritage and friendship all of which withstand the test of time...as long as they are founded in truth, integrity, and loyalty.