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Sunday, July 6th 2008

9:34 PM

Lady Liberty

We made the trek across state to board a ferry this week.  It was breathtaking to see the Statue of Liberty loom closer, as our boat splashed across the harbor.  I wanted to see her from every angle.  I wanted to take advantage of this momentous occasion to read every word printed about the process she went through to materialize on our shore.  However, my family was not in the mood to wait for mom to digest it all.  So, we did the best we could to compromise.   They went to the NY Yankees game and I stayed at Ellis Island to peruse to my heart’s content!

My great-grandfather came to America when he was 12 years old.  It blows my mind to think of the courage it must have taken for his mom to be willing to put him on the boat in Sweden.  But he came and saved up his money to bring the rest of the family over later.  Talk about brave!

History was made as the immigrants waited to see if they would be admitted to the land of promise.  The mammoth hall they entered when they stepped onto the new land was filled with a myriad of voices and languages.  There they went through medical examinations, were questioned about their financial stability, and often detained when their stories didn’t meet with approval.  I wonder if I would have the fortitude to undergo the cross-examining.  I sure take a lot for granted.

That brings me back to Lady Liberty.  I am so grateful for what she stands for.  Emma Lazarus wrote a poem to celebrate the freedoms we offer.

 "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!"

We live in a country where people are given the options of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And we defend it.  That was evidenced in the onslaught of 9/11.  And continues to be seen in the way our men and women have given themselves to serve, defend and protect our freedoms. 

Thank you.

Thank you for fighting, when it seemed like no one cared.

Thank you for going, when it didn’t seem to be the popular thing to do.

Thank you for standing strong, when you felt like you were alone.

We notice and we appreciate you.  May you find Christ’s presence and comfort with every step.

God bless America.  America bless God.



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