There are many things we take for granted in our lives - roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, food in our stomaches. I try to take time every once in a while and think about how lucky I am to have these things. I know I wouldn't have any of them including a loving family if it weren't for those that came before us. We have to take time to appreciate and pray for those that gave the ultimate sacrifice - their lives - for those that they never knew and would never meet.
I am lucky in the sense that I have veterans in my family, and they are still with us, and can share their stories. Who doesn't want to tell their story? Who wouldn't appreciate a captive audience as they spin their yarns? I know what it's like to have a grandfather who likes to talk. That's what grandfathers do; they talk and talk to whomever will listen. When I was younger, I would sit impatiently as he spoke to me, always feeling that there was something better to do. When I got older, I realize and appreciate much more what he has to say.
My family, on my mother's side, has a great history, and I am learning more each day. I learned that our lineage is Welsh. My family came over a short while after the Mayflower and there is property in Boston named after my family. Copps Hill Granary, along the freedom trail, is named after my family. I thought that was the coolest thing. It was even cooler when I took my 8th grade class along the Freedom Trail in 2002. I shared with them the information that I had and they stood there in total awe. Of course the main question was, "Do you still own the property?" and "How much is it worth?" I couldn't help but laugh at both. But with a group mainly comprised of Hispanic students, I looked at them and asked about their families. I told them that they all had a wealth of family history. Knowing my students and how proud they were of their heritage, it turned into a great day of sharing stories about family traditions, cultural differences, and great memories.
Bob Marley said, "In this, our great future, you can't forget your past." Have truer words been spoken?