The Statue of Liberty radiates warmth and compassion. All of our hopes and fears are placed in her and out of her comes our identity. She lovingly welcomes the poorest and soothes even our worst fears by knowing that she will be there to defend the heart of America. As I am traveling on this journey, I feel as though I am her daughter inheriting a piece of her legacy and discovering the spirit of America that she embodies.
Standing at the feet of the mother of America, I felt as though it was important to remember my inheritance from previous generations and remember her message for today. It is more important than ever to give comfort to those in need and to have strength through upholding the best values of America. If we all keep her in mind, remember her legacy, and bring a healing presence to the world, then I think that is the best tribute we can give to her.
The inheritance of my own family matches this vision of America. My mother’s family came through Ellis Island three generations ago. My great-grandmother came over as a poor Polish girl of fifteen and worked in the coalmines of West Virginia to support her family. My grandfather served in the Air Force in World War II and continued throughout his life. My mother is a nurse and has cared for some of the most needy and troubled in our society. They have all served the United States and have benefited from her generosity as well as given of themselves.
On the other side of my family, we have been here since the Mayflower. Both sides, however, crossed the Atlantic to pursue these values and join the same family in the solace and safety of the United States. We are all a nation of immigrants and we are all brought together by the same ideals represented by the Statue of Liberty. She represents America for those who want to be American, both here and abroad, in their ideals and hearts. Here in her embrace, I felt proud of what she stands for and I was refreshed in my dedication to her ideals.