It also includes the contributions made by each of our forebearers. Yesterday, we spent a few hours at Bishop Hill, originally settled by a group of Jansonites (followers of Erik Janson) who left Sweden in the mid-1800s and came to Central Illinois to obtain religious freedom. Their accomplishments to settle the prairie were amazing.
Our grandparents were part of that settlement. Butch's maternal grand father was born in Kansas when his parents were headed to homestead in Colorado. They eventually returned to Iowa and started what would become a Century farm. My maternal grandfather left Denmark at 18, went to Argentina and learned blacksmithing on a ranch and then came to Minnesota where he continued that trade. My paternal grandparents started in Nebraska and Missouri, lived in both the Northwest and the New York City area, and ended up in southern Minnesota to found a large independent poultry business. These people had grit.
O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!