My sister and I (and our children) are, like 2-2-1/2 million living Americans, Mayflower descendants. That is, we have ?X great-grandparents who came to this country on the Mayflower. Some of our other ancestors came on the next few ships to arrive in the Plymouth colony. In other words our ancestors were religious and political refugees who risked their lives, lived in great discomfort, labored for years, separated themselves from the remainder of their families on the hope that they and their grandchildren could live with a greater degree of liberty and security than they had in the "old world". They succeeded and despite the normal life struggles our families have long enjoyed greater prosperity and liberty than they would have had or could have had just about any place else in the world. For their foresight, hope and fortitude we are extremely grateful.