Norse explorer Leif Ericson (a.k.a. Leiv Eiriksson) landed in the Americas at the turn of the 11th century. Christopher Columbus arrived 519 years ago. The Pilgrims dropped anchor in Jamestown 115 years later. Their descendants, and the other Europeans who followed, were the harbingers of what would become the greatest of all nations.
Praising such individuals has, in recent years, become politically incorrect. Yet they are why we are here, and their example is why the United States became a repository for liberties that billions around the world will never have the opportunity to embrace. That much is factually correct. Thus I will always be grateful for those who laid the foundation upon which I now stand.
Picture credit: "Freedom from Want," from the March 6, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post; © Norman Rockwell, via his Four Freedoms series