While the manufacturing sector is fond of saying that the U.S. needs to get back to "making stuff", I think it's also worth taking a look at the "stuff" we are made of.
While watching Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s program "Faces of America" in which he traces the ancestry of a handful of U.S. celebrities, what struck me was that all of the immigrants possessed the same traits.
They were risk-takers, optimists. They were industrious with the fortitude to leap over many, many obstacles.
They created lives in a country that wasn't always happy to see them. They created businesses when the color of their skin was a huge barrier. They even rebounded from incarceration (during WWII).
They saw opportunity and turned it into successful businesses.
And that's what manufacturers are doing today and will continue to do. We must be cognizant of how much easier we have it. Our barriers are mostly economic. We aren't judged by our country of origin, our social status or the color of our skin. We are judged by our ideas.
We need only remember that the spirit and determination of our ancestors, their legacy, lives on in us.