I think that the 4th is more meaningful to me these days since I really got back to the immigrants on most of the branches of the family tree. I was thinking of this last night and realized that knowing my relatives were there, knowing who they were, made a huge difference in my viewpoint, my feelings about the date! This is true of all of the history of this great country for me these days but most of all for the 4th.
I have a list of the Medlins who had land granted to them in Kentucky for their Revolutionary War service, the Hamiltons who were in the Pennsylvania Line and probably met George Washington. The Guffeys and the Woodsons, the Carders and the Days, the Adams and the Harrisons. I have yet to find a relative who wished to go back to England or who fought for the English side, and within 30 years of the Revolutionary War all of my ancestors were part of the great westward migration.
It is the story of America written in my own DNA! My ancestors pushed west and settled in the vast open spaces, some made it as far as California, some went to Alaska and Hawaii. They lived and died in the Gold rushes, they built in areas they had to fight for, they served their country in every branch of the military, the blood that runs through my veins is the same blood that stained the prairies and the mountains of America. One hundred and thirty years later the other side of my family would come to this country fleeing tyranny and finding freedom. The newcomers also fought, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East.
Yes I definitely think that knowing who your family were at certain periods of time makes history come alive, I am not sure whether my love of history made me more interested in genealogy, or if the genealogy made me love history more but on a day like today when we remember the beginnings of our great nation, it just makes me proud!!