Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Golden Door

Generations ago, my ancestors came here from distant lands looking for a better life. Some came from Ireland, others from England and France. The faith that must have taken  - to leave behind relatives, friends, and homelands upon whose shores they had lived for centuries. Yet, they did come! How blessed I am that they had the courage to be pioneers, for their act of faith has blessed all the generations of their families since.

All of us in America are immigrants - pioneers if you like - if not directly, then indirectly. I think its important to remember that fact. Its part of what makes America great, what makes us strong. Our diversity is our National Treasure. There is no place on earth that can compare. Like it says in the Book of Mormon, it is a land "choice above all other lands". I firmly believe that.

Although there is probably small chance to know for sure, I like to think at least a few of my ancestors had the opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty as they made their way here. There is a poem inscribed on the pedestal of that statue that some may not have read before. I leave it with you as my Independence Day salute to this wonderful country we live in:
"The New Colossus" by Emma Lezarus:

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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

No comments: