Saturday, February 20, 2010

The New Colossus

Emma Lazarus

Dear Readers:

Tucson, AZ.  Although I am a Canadian born and raised, I have many fond memories of time spent in the United States of America.  I love this country, and what it stands for.  I am here now.  I have written previously about the Declaration of Independence, the single most important document ever promulgated in North America, certainly in my own opinion.

But today, I came across another significant document, a poem really that typifies America for me.  America is nothing, if not a home for the lost and forsaken, and Canada is too.  However, here in America are symbols of that vocation.  One of great significance is the Statue of Liberty.

Lady Liberty, from her dedication in October 1886, has stood watch over the entrance to New York Harbour, and has greeted many immigrants to this country.  In 1903 the poem Emma Lazarus wrote for her, called "The New Colossus" was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the statue and reads:
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!"
This poem speaks of America, as the Mother of Exiles, inviting people of good will in search of freedom to come here and partake of the freedom it offers, the freedom of the Declaration of Independence.  However, like in Canada, politically minded individuals are frittering away the freedoms that early Americans fought to preserve, as though denying the existence of the symbols of that hard won freedom, and the mantle that came with it.

Using the banner of political correctness, where the truth is obscured by the need to not offend people, where political affiliation and the lust for political power takes precedence over the need to do right by people, legislators and members of the judiciary in this land are allowing more than a million unborn children to be murdered in the womb each year, shedding innocent blood in the name of CHOICE, without responsibility for choices already made.

I am unable to point a finger and say that we in Canada do it better.  We do not, and have no excuse for our own perfidy. We slaughter many unborn each year in our land as well.  I make no excuse for us, but suggest that this great land, the United States of America, has many signs in front of the eyes of its people that remind Americans of what they are to stand for, in this time, as in any time.

And the world, including Canada your neighbour to the north, is watching and hoping to see you take back up the mantle upon which you were created as a nation.

I call all my American friends and readers to remind yourselves of the Pledge of Allegiance that you have said so many times in your lives:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 
Are you "One Nation Under God", with liberty and justice for all, or is it all a lie?

1 comment:

Michael Bahamonde said...

I just visited the Statue and that was one of the things impacted me the most. I cannot believe this is not taught in schools here in America. The very poem is an example of the nature of this country.