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!”

On this the 234th anniversary of our boldly declaring our independence from England, I think it is important to spend a few moments remembering our roots and examine what actually makes these United States of America so incredibly amazing.

What I believe makes this land so remarkable is its rich diversity.

My ancestors immigrated here from the Netherlands and Germany leaving their motherlands for far and distant shores seeking freedom and a chance at a new life exactly as the founders of this great land did.

Sadly, a growing faction believes that we should close the golden door to those who seek to go through it in the search of freedom and an opportunity at a new life.

I believe the words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” are as integral a part of the fabric of our nation as is the Declaration of Independence. The graphic picture Emma Lazarus draws for us of “wretched refuse” from distant “teeming shores” are a warm welcome to the “homeless, tempest-tossed” exiles seeking entrance here. While the name “Mother of Exiles” never stuck for the Statue of Liberty, the vivid and dramatic picture she draws of who she is welcoming is as obvious as the shining lamp she holds for all to see!

I am proud to be a part of the rich diversity that exists here, diversity that I hope continues to grow and flourish. Diversity that makes this nation exactly what it is today…a shining beacon for the entire world to see.

Have a truly Happy Fourth of July!

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