I've been spending time lately working on my family history. I find it interesting to trace ancestors back in time to see where each branch of my family had their roots. It makes for an interesting mix that contributed to my children's heritage.
On my side, ancestors came from Scotland, France and Germany. My children's father's family have roots in Norway and Denmark. Some came to these shores before there was a United States of America. Others came here much later, after laws concerning immigration were in place.
No matter their country of origin, all have this in common.
They all arrived here legally. Not a single ancestor sneaked in through a back door. All did what the laws required to gain citizenship. If English was not their mother tongue, they learned the language. They worked hard to take care of their families. Some became storekeepers. Some were lumberjacks. Others were farmers. Still others worked on the railroads. No matter what their trade, they worked. And when called upon to serve their country, they did so with honor. What they did not do was stand in line for a handout.
I am grateful to those ancestors who have left behind a legacy of honesty and hard work, of a strong and abiding faith in God and a deep love of country.
I think my father said it best. When asked what nationality we are, he always replied, "We are American."