On the way to our recent family reunion, I was thinking about genealogy and those that had passed on. They were not famous or wealthy, there was never a great inheritance handed down. They were simply decent, loving, hard-working people. Somewhere along the line, they left everything behind, family, friends and country to make a new life in a new land.

But there has been a legacy handed down to our generation from our patriarchs. My wife claims that there is a certain kind of hair texture that predominates my family. The men tend to hang on to their hair and early morning bed head is our curse. But, our legacy is more than genes passed from one generation to the next. I think our legacy is one of love. I don't see my extended family very often, but when I do, I feel that deep connection between us.

Love manifests itself in the way my family cares for their children and each other. I remember my grandparents arguing, but underneath that, there was a deep love that you could feel. It was an enduring kind of love that kept them together their entire lifetimes and left 10 children to carry on the legacy. They love their country and it is impossible to think of them as anything but American. They have served their country in numerous ways including military service in peacetime and war. My family has also expressed their love through service to God and community. If I tried to count the number of ministers, Sunday School teachers and church musicians, I would miss some.

So, I resolve to embrace my legacy a little more each day. To love family, God, and country, and perhaps in some small measure, pass that legacy along to those that are coming up after me.