By Lisa B. Nelson
Since the earliest settlers, the people who flocked to what became the United States of America did so in pursuit of the opportunity for self-government. Some came seeking religious liberty. Others came looking for economic opportunity. And many came not because they chose to, but because they were brought here in bondage. Our continuing story is one of a diverse people trying to find a way to make the rules that allow us to live together, peacefully and in prosperity.
That’s not to say we’ve been perfect from the start. There have been missteps along the way to where we are now. There have been some, almost unforgivable, corrected through the shedding of the blood of our countrymen seeking, as Lincoln said, “to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”