I have a passion for America unmeasureable to anything else in life. I'm scared that our current politicians have forgotten the definition of words that make life truly worth living, such as freedom and democracy. My passion and love for my country came in elementary school when I was taught to have pride in my country. In private school, I was not taught a party line. I was taught about the rich history of this great nation, the good and the bad. My passion only grew when my maternal grandmother told me about our ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary war. My passion grew again when I learned that a great great uncle died in World War II. My passion hit an all time high when I found out my grandfather had served as a cook on a Naval ship during World War II and had voluntarily reenlisted to serve during the Korean War.
Genealogy connects us not only to our ancestors, but to our nation's history, no matter what nation we come from. I am an American and my ancestors served to ensure that I would have freedom. While serving, my ancestors had no idea that a descendant named Jennifer Watson would be admiring them in the future. My ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary war for my freedom today could not imagine that I would be writing a blog on a computer some 235 years later (The Revolutionary war began in 1775) singing their praises. But here I am, an American living in a free nation because my ancestors had a passion for their country, a passion for freedom.
My ancestors connect me to this country's history. I am connected to the shame Americans have for taking the Indians land. I am connected to the fight that established this great country known as the United States of America. I am connected to the Civil War, as my ancestors fought to free the slaves. I am connected to both World Wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Through the stories of my parents and grandparents, I am connected to other parts of history as well. For example, I am connected to San Francisco's rich history and specifically the Golden Gate Bridge, as my great grandmother was one of the first to walk across the bridge. Some of my ancestors lived through the 1906 earthquake. I am connected to farmers who moved across the plains to find a better, more prosperous life. I am connected to small towns across America that I have never been to, where my ancestors' remains rest in peace. I am connected to this great nation's history through the efforts and lives of my ancestors.
Memorial Day is one of the days of the year that I remember my ancestors with intensity. My ancestors who served during wartime to ensure my freedom will always be with me, in my heart, mind, and soul. My ancestors who supported their spouses and children during war to ensure America would be founded, united, and prosper have my eternal admiration. Freedom cannot be bought. Freedom is not free. Remember your ancestors who helped ensure our freedom today and thank them for connecting you to America's history.