by Steve Miller
Engraved on a bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty are the words,
“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!”
Much more than poetic words, the promise of refuge is what made America so different than any other society in world history. Along with the Bill of Rights, the freedoms of thought, speech, and the promise of personal liberty made our country the most successful endeavors since the beginning of time. Given the opportunity for a new beginning, many started with nothing. Through hard work and ingenuity, they prospered. Collectively, they created the richest country ever.
Back to the poetic sonnet known as The New Collosus. Less known is the sentence right before the more widely recognized words, which reads:
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.”
Almost clairvoyant are these words, written in 1883 during a period of mass immigration to the United States from countries in Europe. It wouldn’t be until over a century later that “ancient lands” could refer to the biblical countries of Syria and Iraq.
On November 13, 2015, a vicious, brutal attack was carried out in Paris by Islamic extremists. Muslims who had immigrated to France carried out random acts of murder, one after the other, shooting into crowds of defenseless civilians. Then, in a final act of cowardly desperation, most of them blew themselves up avoiding the pain and punishment they were certainly entitled to. Continue reading