When I was in elementary school, the choir director taught us the song written from the following poem. The poem is carved into the base of the Statue of Liberty. The elementary school choir sang the song for a concert. I will never forget what happened when the song was over. Some of the people in the audience were crying. All were on their feet, clapping. I didn’t understand their emotional reaction as a child. I do now.
All four of my grandparents came to America for a better life. I look forward to the news footage every July 4th of the people who are being sworn in as American citizens across the country. It’s not perfect, but it’s home, and now it’s their home, too.
Happy July 4th to all!
The New Colossus
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!”