Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Liberty





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!"



These words are engraved on the base of a beautiful monument celebrating the gift of friendship and the blessings of liberty. This lady has long been a welcoming beacon to the world, inviting the impoverished, the persecuted to a land of freedom, democracy, and opportunity. "Other lands," wrote the Polish emigrae; Henry Sienkiewicz, "grant only asylum; this land recognizes the immigrant as a son and grants him rights." When they were "sickened at last of poverty, bigotry and kings," wrote another immigrant, "there was always America!"



Why have we replaced this sentiment for a mentality of exclusion, isolation, arrogance, and hostility to the alien? Why will we gorge ourselves on hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, potato salad and the like while there are those among us who will go hungry? Why will we shoot fireworks and wave our flags while there are those in wartorn nations hiding from the sounds of gunfire and threats of violence?

Yes, I am proud to be an American and yes I thank God daily for the blessing of living in a free society. But, I am equally appalled by our behaviors. We have let innocent people die in genocides, from disease, and hunger. We are intolerant and belligerent towards people trying to better themselves in a free country full of opportunity. And we are quick to violence and slow to negotiate.

I will pray God's continued blessings upon this nation and her people. May we embrace the tired, the poor, the homeless, and the alien as our brother or sister and assist them in seizing all the opportunities available.

6 comments:

Shionge said...

I love this sense of patriotism Stace :D I am so happy to have so many American friends and that some of friends achieved their American Dreams too :D

Art said...

Very good. Very, very good!

Vicki said...

Great post, Stacie!

Susan as herself said...

I consider myself a very patriotic person, and I cannot really understand why, as it is sort of contradictory to the rest of my being... But, there it is.

And sometimes I wonder what the hell happened between Plymouth Rock and now to make us so insular and intolerant and judgemental and righteous. If we'd been that way at the beginning (well, I guess we WERE with the native Americans), this country never would have been formed. And we'd all be living very differently today.

I hope we get our act together. I really do. I don't like feeling sheepish or ashamed for saying I am an American.

Mike said...

Amen. Good post

Lorna said...

"I will pray God's continued blessings upon this nation and her people. May we embrace the tired, the poor, the homeless, and the alien as our brother or sister and assist them in seizing all the opportunities available"...............very well put, Stace and I will pray with you.
hugssssssssssssssss