Post-Independence Day

Last night, as we attended a dazzling fireworks display, my wife commented, "I wonder if the American Indians are celebrating this day?"

In that spirit, this speech given in 1987 by Thurgood Marshall is worth reading.

The work of building a just and free society --based on such principles as life, liberty, equality, and happiness expressed in the Declaration of Independence-- is far from over.

The vision, articulated so long ago, is still out there, beckoning,
yet to be attained.

Here is one poet's version of what America desires to be:

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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

~ The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, 1883

We aren't there yet. Not by a long shot.

There are barriers to be tackled and overcome, some external, but some deeply rooted in our hearts.

Do we have the will to change?

Now that the 4th of July parades and fireworks are done, let's get back to work.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 07/05/06


Astha said…
Its a beautiful poem Terrence- Thanks for sharing it.

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