Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Before you make up your mind about refugees, let us all remember how our country was born...

I present to you The New Colossus. This poem, written by Emma Lazarus, is engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty. It is important that we remember how are country was founded. The words at the base of America's most iconic statue are beautiful and courageous. It is easy to say "Let us keep out all refugees and immigrants of any kind! We have ours, so let's close the borders". It is important to remember the United States is a harbor to those escaping tyranny. This is so important, we engraved it in metal and it stands in a place where many of our ancestors entered this country for the first time.  Please note there is no mention of specific religion or nationality in this poem. Our country was founded by people escaping religious persecution and looking for a new opportunity. I don't see why that should change now.

"The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886.  It was designated as a National Monument in 1924.  Employees of the National Park Service have been caring for the colossal copper statue since 1933. (National Park Service Website)

The New Colossus 
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"