life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, January 13, 2018

We Are A Nation Of Immigrants

The most recent vulgar comments by that embarrassment in the Oval Office notwithstanding...

One of the most cherished symbols of our nation is the Statue of Liberty.  Full name: ”Liberty  Enlightening the World”.  She sits in New York Harbor, welcoming travelers to our shores.  She is gift from the people of France in recognition of our special bond with them.  The brilliant poem by Emma Lazarus is in our collective memory:  “Give me your tired, your hungry, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ...”

When I was a child, whenever we drove over the Verrazano Bridge, I’d look out the window, trying to spot the statue below.

When I worked in lower Manhattan, I’d often walk down to Battery Park to view Lady Liberty.  Back in the 80’s, when the statue was undergoing refurbishment in anticipation of her centennial, we jokingly referred to her as “The Scaffold of Liberty”.

When Drew and I were first married we lived in Brooklyn, and if you stood in the middle of our street, you could see Lady Liberty in the distance.  

When I worked in Jersey City, I was fortunate to have a cubicle by the window, and I could look up from my work and see her in the harbor.

I’ve visited the statue several times, first with my parents, and later with friends.   My friends and I climbed all the way up to the crown once, the view of Manhattan is spectacular.

Awhile back, Drew and I took a dinner cruise around Manhattan.  The highlight of the evening was when the boat stopped near Liberty Island, and I was able to take this photo.

This is who we are, not what the vulgar comments of the POTUS suggest.  Perhaps he has forgotten his mother was an immigrant.  Perhaps he just doesn’t care.

So let us remind him, in Lazarus’ soaring words:

The New Colossus

BY Emma Lazarus 
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!”


bookworm said...

Let's see, two of Trump's three wives are immigrants, too. But I guess none of them came from the you-know-what countries. What a privilege to be able to see Lady Liberty so many times in your life. I wonder what my grandparents felt when they stood on the decks of their ships as the ships entered New York Harbor in the early years of the 20th century. Alana

AnneZ said...

A reminder of where we all come from in this nation. We are a mixed bag and that make us unique in the world. Excellent post!

Martha DeMeo said...

Although I'm almost 70 years old, I will never forget when our girl scout troop visited NYC and went to the Statue of Liberty.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Let me guess your talking about our dear President...I find his remark about immigrants just plain stupid...I could use a lot stonger words.
His mom came from Scotland. Three of his wife also came from other then the United States.
I wonder if he came from in-breed family.
Coffee is on

Alice Gerard said...

About twelve years ago, I went to New York City and had the chance to take a cruise around Manhattan. We saw Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I think of my grandparents coming this way, in search of a better life. They came a long time ago. Now, I would direct them to Canada. We are not living up to Emma Lazarus' poem. That's so sad.

Liz A. said...

So cool to have seen it in person so frequently. Let's not talk about you-know-who. He can stew in his own juices.

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