Museums are full of the artifacts of our history. There are museums specializing in just about every era of man's civilization. As a people we are quite good at recognizing and preserving our historic artifacts. But does this equate to preserving our heritage? I think not.
What artifacts can we collect to preserve a strong moral value of right and wrong, duty, honor, and country? How can we create a display of the code of principles that guided the writers of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution? How does a father pass on the duty to defend freedom even if it means taking to the field of combat as a soldier? Can he give his son three generations of war relics and expect that son to feel the same way about them as he did? The physical "things" associated with our past remain "things" until the values are associated with them.
If we pass the values and the true heritage of concepts and ideals we hold dear, the artifacts will follow. But, to do so means spending time with the family, nurturing inquisitive minds, making them a part of all your life--work, play, hobbies. A child's mind is like a sponge, eagerly soaking up everything. If a father provides the guidance for learning, his sons and daughters will inherit the heritage of both ideals and artifacts.