04 July, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Lazurus' sonnet to the Statue of 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!

Just as Lazarus' poem gave new meaning to the statue, the statue emitted a new ideal for the United States. Liberty did not only mean freedom from the aristocracy of Britain that led the American colonists to the Revolutionary War. Liberty also meant freedom to come to the United States and create a new life without religious and ethnic persecution. Through Larazus' poem, the Statue of Liberty gained a new name: She would now become the "Mother of Exiles," torch in hand to lead her new children to American success and happiness.

"The New Colossus" (1883)

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