On the eve of July 4th the Statue of Liberty has reopened. For some time the Statue has been closed while much-needed repairs were made. So once again people can come and ponder this symbol of liberty and hope. On this July 4th where battles rage about immigration, about health care for all, about full rights for gay people it might be good to ponder Emma Lazarus’ poem which is graven on a tablet within the pedestal on which Miss Liberty stands. Let us recommit ourselves to a country which provides hope and promise for people the world over.
“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.’”