Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Cost of Freedom

   On this and every day we would all do well to remember the cost of Freedom and what a privilege it is to live in this great country of ours. We must give thanks to all the brave men and women who have served this nation, years ago, today and well into our futures to protect our freedoms. Put aside your views on war and pay homage to the Veterans and the Armed Forces who protect our shores, as well as threats from afar.

      I would venture to say that while most of us recognize The Statue of Liberty we often forget what she stands for and how she welcomed countless immigrants to our shores. She continues to serve as a symbol of this great USA and all that we embody. While we as Americans are free to gripe about politics, corruption, the state of the economy, etc. we would do well to remember that despite her flaws this is still the greatest nation in the world. Many have risked their lives to reach our shores and continue to do so, why? Unless you have ever traveled abroad you may not ever get a true picture of what we have here. Our Constitution and the freedoms it bestows on us are not available to every nation. The world's people do not all have 'freedom of speech', 'freedom to worship', 'freedom to bear arms', the right to vote...and the list goes on!

      Does any recognize this woman? She is the author of a very famous poem, one I'm sure you all know at least a few lines from. Her words are on a brass plaque that adorns our Lady Liberty...

                                                                 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!

   My parents were immigrants to this country many years ago, leaving behind family and braving the unknown for an opportunity to have a better life for themselves but mostly for their children. They came not speaking a word of english and not knowing anyone here all because they knew that this was the land of opportunity. I imagine a great many of you can trace your family roots to somewhere across the 'pond'.

            They carried with them few possesions, only what fit in a suitcase, giving new meaning to the term carry on luggage!
They braved an uncertain future.

They endured physicals to enter and feared being turned away.

The ill were quarantined, frightened and seperated from family.

The cuisine was foreign to them and less than stellar!

While the doors of Ellis Island are now closed, throngs of people continue to come to the USA.

    Why would anyone subject themselves to such difficulties? Because many years ago, just as it is today people risk all to arrive in this great land we call home!  Now before a great debate ensues, I'm not advocating illiegal immigration, I'm trying to simply illustrate why people continue to risk their lives, crowding onto small boats and setting adrift or trekking across a river and enduring scalding heat and a hostile desert to live here. While many sneak across our borders trying to get in, you rarely see people trying to sneak out (draft dodgers don't count)! While we may complain from time to time, I hope we will all remember that people continue to risk all they have for a chance at a better life. Our Veterans have fought for our freedoms and we must honor them always for the blessings we all share!


  1. Hi Diva. This is such a beautiful and moving post. The pictures really bring it all home. Our great country was built from the sweat and tears of others who left their on safety to seek out freedom for all.

    I can't imagine the fear that your family must have felt when they prepared to leave their home. I don't know if I could have ever been so brave and stong to leave behind everything I knew and most of my possessions to face an unknown world where I was so different for others and faced such difficulties trying to communicate.

    We all have so much to be greatful for to thoseThank you for posting such wonderful words and photos.

    Hugs...Tracy :)

  2. you have such a wonderful gift of the written always express yourself so beautifully! thank you for the reminder of our freedoms, and the sacrifices that were made to acquire them. i loved reading the story of your parents.....what brave, adventurous people! :))

  3. Amen Diva!

    I appreciate, pray and am so very grateful for those who serve for our Freedom and Protection!

    This is a beautiful and heartfelt post! Thankyou

  4. This is such a beautiful tribute to those men and women who have sacrificed so much just so that we could have our freedom. I can't even imagine what some immigrants go through but as you say, they'll go through anything just to be able to live in a land that is free:-) xoxo

  5. I just gave you a standing ovation, followed by a 'woot woot!!' You were able to put some very powerful emotion into words. Few can do that.

    There is a song version of that poem that we went through elementary school singing. I've always loved it.

    Scotty came into Ellis Island in 1923. Whenever I see those vintage turn-of-the-century black and white photos of immigrants, I think of him.

    I, for one, am very glad you and your family found your way to this country. ;)