Editorial by Jacquie
I have said it before and will now say it again. To visit or view the Statue of Liberty from the ground, the sea, or from the air is awesome and inspiring. Blessings were mine to have experience all three scenarios. I have been fortunate to walk in the body of the Lady of Freedom. I have stood in her crown, viewed the Hudson River, and New York, and while doing so thanked my Creator, for planting my feet, on this precious soil.
Engraved in the base of this magnificent monument is “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus. The most familiar part of the sonnet known to many of us is as follows.
“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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
When I read the sonnet; I try to think of the message that was intended. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”….Somehow I do not think she meant. Lets open up the flood gates. Ya’ll come on in, don’t worry about being dishonest, or lying, this is a big tent, we have room for dishonesty, and corruption, your free to lie, and steal, break our laws, and use our resources…… No, I believe that she was aware that we had enough of those, poor, attributes of our own. What she was saying was. “People, families, who want to start a new life based on honesty, and a willingness to contribute, those of you wanting to live by the laws of the land, and be part of this wonderful America, Welcome. In time, you will earn the right and be proud to call yourselves, Americans. In doing so your actions, will enable you to honor the Constitution, Our Laws, and Our Flag as your own.”
The next statement, in this part of her sonnet… “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,” Lady Liberty was not saying, send us all your folks that refuse to obey the laws, that ought to improve the melting pot and add some action, we could sure use some action. Then we can make more laws enforcing those we have already put in place, also allowing us to point fingers at each other. On the contrary, I think she meant that she would welcome those who did not want to be part of the status quo, and those who had a burning desire for freedom, for a better life, with an opportunity to succeed, as our Constitution envisioned.
Her final declaration is most relevant. “I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” I cannot imagine Lady Liberty, saying “Hey huddled Masses, try getting through the door, don’t worry about falling over each other, or jumping the line, its okay every man for himself, and if some get killed in the process, don’t worry, there are more, and while you are at it, scrape a little gold off the door as you enter.” I think what she had in mind may have been the following… You have been honest, you have met the requirements; you have shown a strong, and willing desire to be part of us. My light will guide you through the golden door where opportunities abound….. Let us honor her and not allow Immigration reform to be a blanket of amnesty, rewarding those who were, and have been dishonest.
As for this immigrant, in my humble opinion the golden door she refers to, is second only to the gates of Heaven. Let’s keep it that way, your vote is precious, and meaningful.