A Tribute to our Lady Liberty


Narration and Music, “Lady Liberty” c2004, by Karleigh Bon, with a nod to Woody Guthrie

In 1903, a bronze tablet that bears the text of Emma Lazarus’s sonnet, “The New Colossus” (1883), was presented by friends of the poet. Lazarus was an activist and advocate for Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Czarist Russia. Until the 1986 renovation, it was mounted inside the pedestal; later, it resided in the Statue of Liberty Museum, in the base.

“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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Paul Auster wrote that “Bartholdi’s gigantic effigy was originally intended as a monument to the principles of international republicanism, but ‘The New Colossus’ reinvented the statue’s purpose, turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world.”

John Cunningham wrote that “The Statue of Liberty was not conceived and sculpted as a symbol of immigration, but it quickly became so as immigrant ships passed under the torch and the shining face, heading toward Ellis Island. However, it was [Lazarus’s poem] that permanently stamped on Miss Liberty the role of unofficial greeter of incoming immigrants.”

“Lady Liberty” by Karleigh Bon

Lady stands at the edge of the ocean, strong and beautiful; Searching the land, for the souls with the keys to unlock her heart.

And the wind blows her hair back, drying a tear that flowed down her face for too many years.

Now she’s falling over the precipice into the sea. There is nobody in this land (place) who knows how to love (the rule of love) and this she can’t (won’t) believe!

Helen* stands by the traffic light waiting to cross to the other side…

From Steve Schmidt’s Twitter @SteveSchmidtSES
In all the years I worked in GOP politics, from local races to the White House it never occurred to me that it was even remotely possible that there were people sitting in rooms with me that would one day be in favor of overturning a Presidential election and making the loser America’s first dictator.
I have warned about this danger for many years, yet I remain flabbergasted by this moment. We now know who has crossed the rubicon. We cannot unlearn who those people are. This is a photo of the American Cemetery in Normandy. Each grave faces West, towards home. The home they never got to go back to…
They died so we could live in freedom. They were mostly young men with their whole lives ahead of them. What would they say about this? Don’t let anyone tell you for a second that signing an Amicus brief is no big deal. It is a monumental event. It is a declaration of repudiation. A repudiation (denial and rejection) of American democracy and our birthright to pick our leaders. They are attempting to impose the fired President on the people who fired him.
We have never seen anything like it, and that is disorienting. Yet, we do know what to call this. Don’t we? What would we call this in Germany or France? Trump has let the demons loose. We will be fighting them for decades. There is no certainty about what side will win. Should ours lose let there be no lack of certainty about what will be lost. America will be lost and all the assembled generations of Americans watching from heaven will weep. The light of American liberty will have been extinguished.

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