Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

125 years old and she doesn’t look a day over 30.

On October 28th, 1886 Lady Liberty was dedicated. The neoclassical statue designed by Frédéric Bartholdi was a gift from the people of France to the United States in celebration of our independence from King George and Great Britain.

Work began in May of 1876. For the poor and destitute of the world she is a light of hope for a better life. For Sci-Fiction writers she is target of aliens, towering ocean waves, and the occasional Ape ridding around on horseback.

Within the base and the statue itself are many plaques celebrating occasions and people but probably the most important one is a poem written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 while the statue was still under construction.
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!"
In today’s world even the poor of America often live better than much of what would have been the middle class of 1886. We often take what we have for granted and we have become cynical about the world; and sometimes greedy and protective of what we have. We want our food fast and to hell with what it does to our bodies. We want our SUV’s that get 3 miles to the gallon and who cares with what the pollution does to the planet. When things are going good we want everyone to stand out of way and let us through. When we fall flat on our faces we want someone else to fix it and someone else to blame for the mistake. We’ve forgotten what America is supposed to be about.

We aren’t supposed to be gallivanting all over the world with our military trying to force our way of life on those that aren’t ready for it. We aren’t supposed to have our doors shut to those who are simply asking for a chance to work hard and create a better life for themselves. We aren’t supposed to be trying to impose our religious views on other American citizens or telling them that they can’t get married because they don’t fall into our narrow minded world view.

We are America; the light of freedom and hope to the world. We are supposed to be better than that.