Friday, January 01, 2016

Mascot of the Month: The Statue of Liberty

For some of us, this monument still means something.  It is still a call to Liberty, to caring and to opportunity.  For others - particular those running for the Republican Nomination for President, it is - at best - an antiquated idea to throw in the trash.
To pay for the base, publisher Joseph Pulitzer started a drive for donations and more than 120,000 people donated money to help pay for this.  They believed in the American Dream more than those that would now tear her down.
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One way to raise money was a sonnet written by Emma Lazarus who was, at the time, working to save refugees from anti-jewish pogroms in Eastern Europe.  It once held the thoughts of Americans.  In the poem, "air-bridged harbor that twin cities" refers to New York and Brooklyn before they became one city.  The bolded section is inscribed on the pedestal of the personification of Liberty.
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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!"
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I wish, I pray, I hope that sometime soon we believe in these words again.  To do so, we will have to conquer a fear that is whipped up for political expediency.   To believe again, we will have to become a country of Americans and stop dividing "us" against "them".  To be the people we strive to be and believe that we are - we have to grow up and stop being children;  petty and small minded.
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In short, we have to be the best of ourselves again.  We've done it before.

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