What’s Your Symbol of Freedom and Democracy?

Have you stood at the feet of the colossal copper statue on Staten Island in New York? “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” given to the United States by the people of France is recognized as a “universal symbol of freedom and democracy.”  Awestruck to Confused I have always seen myself as a patriot. (You may have guessed this would be the case if you’ve read my Fourth of July posts.) Growing up, my family visited many of our nation’s historically important sites. As a grade-schooler, I stood awestruck at the feet of Miss Liberty. The sight filled me with a national pride that “my” people welcomed everyone. It said so on the bronze plaque on the pedestal.  “The New Colossus 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!” Emma Lazarus Today, I am confused and upset by the hostility immigrants to the United States face. How did we go from welcoming to shunning and imprisoning immigrants? When I’m confused about something, I try to educate myself about that situation. This is the first of a series […]

Always Remember 9/11

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. Always remember 9/11. Terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City and into the Pentagon. A third plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Its passengers, aware of what had happened, fought back and sacrificed their lives.  First responders selflessly struggled against impossible odds to help survivors and evacuate those in danger. Many first responders lost their lives, too.  Thousands died that day. It was a day that changed America. Our sense of safety shattered. Our isolation from what happened overseas vanished. Time is Relentless Families were forever changed on that day. Witnesses near the Towers were also changed. Some have physical reminders—old injuries or chronic injuries from debris and dust.  Time has claimed some of those who watched the Towers crumple. For some eighteen years was a lifetime ago. They never saw that day. And unless the tragedies touched their families, they do not know or feel the solemness of the day.  Memory Fades The nation’s collective memory is fading.  Thousands died. It didn’t matter what color their skin, what religion they did or didn’t follow, or what their sexual preference was. They […]

Do You Know These Facts About the Fourth?

Fourth of July is a holiday celebrating the independence of the United States of America. Do you know these facts about the Fourth? The Cost An estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in the Revolutionary War. Another 8,000-12,000 died of disease while prisoners of war. Why it’s Important  For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear. Aung San Suu Kyi You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it. John Adams (Founding Fathers) Okay, those aren’t facts, but you should still know them. And now you do. What’s in a Name? It could have been called Resolution Day instead. The Declaration of Independence was first called the Lee Resolution, after Richard Henry Lee. Original Document Two hundred copies of the Declaration of Independence were made and distributed in 1776. Twenty-six have survived. An archivist discovered the twenty-sixth copy in 2009. 1776 Laptop Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on a mahogany […]