We are people to whom the past is forever speaking. We listen to it because we cannot help ourselves, for the past speaks to us with many voices. Far out of that dark nowhere, which is the time before we were born, men and women who were flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone, went through fire and storm to break a path to the future.

We are part of the future they died for. They are part of the past that brought the future. What they did - the lives they lived, the sacrifices they made, the stories they told, the songs they sung, and finally, the deaths they died - make up a part of our own experience. We cannot cut ourselves off from it. It is as real to us as something that happened last week.

From "Creed of the Living Historian" by Bruce Catton