Erin Carlson Mast, executive director, President Lincoln’s Cottage

“I’m grateful that as an American I have the opportunity and the duty to be engaged civically, environmentally, and culturally. Every day I look out over a landscape that is a true oasis in the city. This is a place that has been home to thousands of people who served their country. This is a place where President Lincoln developed his Emancipation Proclamation and struggled to maintain the only constitutional democracy that existed in his time while living here. It is a place where thousands more come each year to gain understanding, inspiration, and resources because they, too, want to make our world a better place. To me, being a Grateful American isn’t just about learning our history, it’s about understanding and acknowledging that what we do today is inextricably linked to our past. What we do today will be part of our shared history.”