I watched Ivy Meeropol's documentary about her grandparents the other night, Heir to an Execution.
Oh, to be a granddaughter of the Rosenberg's - lefty Jews from the lower east side executed by the state for supposedly passing secrets about the atomic bomb to the Russians. They maintained their innocence for the crimes of which they were convicted through their electric chairs.
Tony Kushner, who chose Ethel to be on of the Angels in Angels in America, was interviewed in the extras section. The difference between an actual relative and a symbol is in the minds of the people who invoke them. Terrorists to nazis, terrorists to McCarthy, terrorists to the news media, the mass hysterics we all become aided and abetted by our need to belong.
And then there is love. Love which binds you to action, to conviction, to belief beyond your children, acting for posterity, nobility, and grace into death.