Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Golden Door

Tonight, just before the fireworks start, I will be flying home to Knoxville to get back to work, rested and renewed these past 10 days by friends and family and familiar places. This morning, as Independence Day dawns here in New York, I think especially of my paternal grandparents (whom I never met), who more than a century ago courageously left behind the dead-end, pointless poverty of southern Italy for a better, more hopeful life across an ocean in a new world. I try to imagine what it would have been like for them to arrive in New York Harbor and there for the very first time to see the Statue of Liberty, her lamp lifted to light the way for them and others like them ever since. And so I honor their memory on this holiday with the hope that this country may continue to be - for generations of immigrants to come - the haven and hope that it was for them.

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