…”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me…I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door.”
These immortal lines were written by Emma Lazarus, in 1883 and engraved on a bronze plaque and put on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in the year, 1903.
At that time in our history, we needed good people from other countries who were mistreated by their government officials but who were willing to work hard, sacrifice, become good Americans and create a new life for their children and themselves. I know this first hand: I am the product of hard-working, poor, tempest-tossed, homeless, huddled masses.
The first few waves of immigrants came to America from nearly every country in Europe. From Germany, England, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Holland, Spain, Scotland, Yugoslavia and others. They were all eager to partake of “The American Dream”. In spite of the poor treatment they received, they were prepared to do whatever necessary, make whatever sacrifice and to become good Americans. None of them flew the flag of their country of origin, they did not push their culture onto America, did not expect the school curriculums to abide by their ideology and opinions nor did they force any of their religious beliefs on the populace. Nearly all of them became good, productive American citizens ((well, maybe excluding the Mafia!)). Their children and other progeny went on to become leaders in this grand, wonderful country. They are/were teachers, lawyers, judges, doctors, engineers, nurses, inventors, professors, governors, senators, mayors and on and on!
I would like to note here that when these people came to America, they were not given nor even offered the hand-outs that the invaders are provided with now. Things like medical care, food stamps, business loans, free housing, paid utilities, free college, etc, were unheard of. These benefits were not offered and they were not demanded by the early ((legal)) immigrants. If they survived and prospered, it was because they worked hard, saved their money and made necessary sacrifices. Contrast that with what we see going on now in this country.
I love the words of Emma Lazarus but they were applicable only for the time in which they were written. At the present time, we are over stocked with “huddled masses, tempest-tossed, homeless and wretched refuse”.
Celebrate the 239th birthday of our unique nation today. Look seriously at how we have changed and whether it was for the good or the bad. If you think for the bad, look into yourself and vow to work for a change. There are many who wish to change the course of government. Join up and vote for one of them.
MRW July 4, 2015. Happy Birthday to America the Beautiful!