Grateful first of all for family, friends, community, a place to live, food to eat.
Those are the people and things closest to me.
But grateful as well to all those who made it possible to have the life I have…
The Menominee ancestors who cared for the land where I was born, the Oneida ancestors who cared for the land where I went to high school, the Ho-Chunk ancestors who cared for the land where I now live.
The African-American ancestors who against their wills and under great duress did the work that built the foundations of this nation’s economic power over two centuries.
The Chinese-American ancestors whose labor built a transportation system that connected one side of the nation to the other even as they faced exploitation and discrimination.
The Mexican-American ancestors who picked the crops that filled the nation’s tables and their descendants who are enriching our nation.
My own German-American ancestors, as well as those from many other European countries, whose immigrant experience transformed this nation and provided the workers who propelled the nation forward.
Grateful to all the women who have worked so hard, often against great odds, often facing incomprehensible treatment by men they encountered, yet, as they say, persevering and then persevering some more.
Grateful as well to all those who gave their lives in service of our country. Grateful to those who sought justice for those who lives were taken from them as they were lynched or beaten or shot in an effort to force submission to an unjust power structure.
Grateful to God, whose love embraces us all, in good times and in bad, as we seek to create a world closer to the vision God has for us.