A note from Emma

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America is a work in progress. Ever evolving, the country was built by Indigenous People, slaves, immigrants, religious seekers, those looking for fortune and the forcibly absorbed (Mexicans for example). We are an extremely unique place where many folks from different backgrounds find success. We are most successful when embracing people from a myriad of backgrounds. The nation certainly has its foibles and all too often these are based on race, class and religion. The poem “Tears of Liberty” speaks to our highest and our lowest beliefs. Mixed in is a sense of correction and hope. When you celebrate this year’s July 4th let’s take a brief moment to reflect upon the gifts we have. Let’s also promise to do just a little bit better. God Bless America!

Tears of Liberty

 The tears of Liberty

Dropped towards the flames

Of the torch intended

To welcome the names

From weary souls searching

Across distant shores

The huddled masses

Those tired and poor

The tears of Liberty

Cry out in deep grief

Demanding that Americans

Exercise their beliefs

That we are all neighbors

From backgrounds galore

This nation she welcomes

The tired and poor

The tears of Liberty

Are merciful filled

For as her light shines

Great sorrows are stilled

Raise up your voices

Shed one tear more

Out of love for the hopeful

The tired and poor

The tears of Liberty

Will constantly flow

Until the day comes

When everyone knows

That the land of the brave

At its very true core

Is one that embraces

The tired and poor

Let those tears of Liberty

Now fuel the fire

That travels the country

With deepest desire

Showing bountiful mercy

To the land of the free

Setting an example

For all men to see

Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” to raise money for the statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Originally written in1883, the poem still evokes powerful emotions today. Here’s hoping that the poem, and statue it represents, continue to offer hope for those seeking new shores. Bob Houghtaling is an American born citizen whose father served as a United States Marine during the Korean War. He has also worked in the Human Services for more than 35 years.

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