December 26, 2016
By Bob Cox
Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado
The time leading up to this Christmas and the family event we had on Christmas Eve left me with a deep sense of satisfaction and I wanted to share a few thoughts with each of you as we say so long to 2016.
For several years now I have, off and on, been working on putting together my family history. It has been fun and at times very frustrating. This past year I finally developed a plan that was much more focused.
The other thing was that Diane got involved and became almost as fanatical as I am.
Our two families are so different, yet so alike in many ways. I can trace my family history, especially on the maternal side, back to the mid 1600s in America. By contrast, Diane’s family first came to this country in the late 1800s.
We decided having a written account of the histories would make a good Christmas gift for our three sons and their families. We decided that, rather than doing a typical family tree, we would turn it into a narrative, with side stories based on where people came from and memories from our parents, grandparents, and in some cases, great grandparents. Over the years we managed to garner several photographs and the Ancestry web site made things workable.
But that is just the surface of what we developed. The end result was a simple book, printed and bound with plastic spiral binding right here in the Cox house. There are histories, notes and photos representing more than one hundred of our predecessors, and we purposely limited our results to those in our direct linage – no cousins or cousins once removed – just parents, grandparents and on down the line.
What is not contained in those pages is the newfound respect we have for the life our families had here in America and the enhanced understanding of what they dealt with prior to coming to this great land. By understanding our history, we are able to better understand the history of the United States, and even more important, the histories of the countries that were left behind by our forefathers.
Diane and I, as with most Americans, cannot fully appreciate the lack of freedom because we have never really experienced it. We cannot relate to a government that has literal control over every aspect of our lives. While we see some of our freedoms slip away and see government control and regulation become more and more apparent, we still do not have the fight that was in the hearts of those who came here to actually be free.
Many of my ancestors came to America for religious purposes and to be able to make decisions based on their beliefs rather than based on the whims of a monarchy.
Several of Diane’s family were lured from Germany to Russia when Catherine the Great was in charge. They were promised land and freedom that far exceeded what they had in Germany. They went voluntarily and were devastated when Russia decided that all the males could be forced into military service for Russia. They fled to America where they could farm the land and establish a strong religious base. They left fertile farms in Russia to come to the High Plains to fight drought, dust and amazing hardships, all of which they considered worth the price.
Many of my ancestors left lands controlled by England, where they were told which religions would be tolerated and which ones would not. Many ended up in places in North America where the ugly head of religious intolerance reared up again, sending them deeper into the unknown areas of the west.
Diane’s family for the most part became farmers, while mine chose to be pathfinders and miners. As our families came together, we were aware of our heritage, but I don’t think we really appreciated it to the extent that we do now.
It truly think this country is at a turning point. We are going to have to make some difficult decisions. Frankly, I think we have already started, but we must not give up now. We have an obligation to justify the hardships and dedication that our forefathers experienced. We do not have a perfect nation, but it is the best thing going now. We cannot let the naysayer win. We cannot let them push us backwards. We have to pick the right path, and we have to stick with it.
We have to admit that this last election cycle took us closer to socialism and government over-reach than we have been since my family first stepped ashore four hundred years ago. We have to admit that the Constitution and the representative republic we live under is not just another democratic form of government. It is a unique concept, well thought out by people like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. It is truly a government limited by the people, and it must stay that way. It has some scratches and wounds, but they will heal if we don’t allow an infection to set in.
God bless all of you and may each of you have a Happy New Year.
Remember, I only send out these missives as emails to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.
© Robert R. Cox 2016