Who Am I?
The answer to that question, as it is for many, if not most Americans, is somewhat complicated. It is complicated by the richness of my heritage. On first glance, I am a middle-aged Caucasian male of comfortable means, but there is much more. I am the descendant of those who came to America freely, some who did not, and some who were here already. I am the descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrims, who came here in search of religious Liberty, but I am also the descendant of indentured servants, who surrendered their Liberty in order to come here. I am also descended from British prisoners-of-war--Scotsmen who were brought here by the English after being captured in some of many of Scotland's struggles for Liberty. I know the names of the ships that brought them. I know where they settled when they arrived, and I know their descendants down through the centuries until the process arrives at me. I am English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, French, and German (so far). I am also Shawnee, Creek, Cherokee, and Algonquian (so far). I know less of my Native American heritage due to their lack of concentration on documentation and taxation, but I do not appreciate it less. I can only put time and names to those who intersected with the Europeans and their documents and wars and taxation, and removals.
The passage of time and events in history add their own meaning to my heritage. I am a descendant of Patriots. I am descended from Revolutionary War soldiers. I am descended from great many soldiers who engaged in a struggle mistakenly referred to as The Civil War. That war is more properly called: The War Between The States, The War of Northern Aggression, The War for Southern Independence, but not: The War of the Rebellion or The Civil War. I am a proud descendant of the Confederacy. I also know that the war was fought over the issue of States' Rights, and not slavery. Even Lincoln, a dictator and tyrant, said it was about not letting the South go, and that he never would have fought to free the slaves. I watch in some bemusement how the issues that led to The War Between The States are with us again in this difficult period of this nation's history--a period that will see this country as a Socialist state, or as a renewed democratic, federal republic. I believe that this nation is at a crucial decision point, and that we will either see Fascism or Federalism, and the outcome is yet in doubt. My ancestors did not struggle to see Socialism and/or Fascism, and neither did I.
Like my ancestors before me, I am a Veteran, an Air Force officer who served his country during the Cold War and also in the First Gulf War. (more to come)