Thursday, October 16, 2008

They Were Strong and Good

As I was looking for books for Happy Boy at the library last week, I noticed a display book called They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson. The book caught my eye because the illustrations looked like the more old-fashioned drawings that I prefer.

When I read it to Happy Boy I was surprised at how my emotions were moved. For those unfamiliar with the story, it is a simple biography of the author's parents and grandparents, including how they met and how they contributed to the building of this country. The reason I was so moved by it is because of the underlying premise that everyone in the history of the United States has a story of their own and in some way they have contributed to this country.

The book made me wonder about my own ancestors and what their lives were like 150 years ago when the author's parents and grandparents lived. My ancestors who immigrated the most recently came over in the 1850s. Many of them were here before the Revolution. That is a lot of potential stories about how they lived and shaped the United States, and yet I only know a handful of them.

I would love to write a They Were Strong and Good of my own ancestors; not just of my parents and grandparents but of all of my American ancestors. That would be quite an endeavor and most people would find it boring, but I know it would be exciting and educational for me and many of my family members.

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