Do we as Americans truly understand the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty? If you need a refresher, President Grover Cleveland accepted the Statue of Liberty on behalf of the United States on October 28th, 1886. It was a symbol of friendship between the people of France and the U.S. and a mutual desire for liberty. Millions of immigrants cast their eyes upon Lady Liberty as they sailed into New York Bay, filling them with the hope of opportunities for a better life in America.
Not everyone enters our country on the east coast, but I would say no matter where an immigrant hails from, they are coming to America with hope for a life better than what they currently have. They say America is the land of promise and opportunity, but what they don’t tell immigrants is that they won’t always be accepted upon arrival. The color of their skin, their heritage, their government’s ideas, and problems will follow them on their journey to their new life.
Leaving your country behind must take a lot of courage. Imagine leaving the only life you know, belongings, family, familiarity, all for the unknown. It will be scary, lonely, and costly in more ways than one. It will be a lot of hard work. When you finally arrive, you realize America is not a perfect nation, we have our faults. Our people are human and make mistakes and have bad judgment like anyone else. We judge others unfairly and can act like we are better than anyone else. Hopefully, in time our understanding, our fear can be based on an individual and not race or color of our skin. We must remember no matter the color of our skin or where we were born, we all bleed red.
I hope that in time we all can have pride in our heritage and live as one peacefully, honoring each other as an individual that can have differing opinions, and work together to create a greater good for all. So the next time you see Lady Liberty standing tall, think of her as a symbol that America is not just one race, but a melting pot. She holds her torch high, letting us know we are stronger together. We may have different skin color, speak different languages, have unique traditions, but what binds us is our quest for a better life, freedom, and justice for all.
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