I traveled to New York City a couple of years back, and got very acquainted with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the World Trade Tower site, and all that area thereabouts. We were staying close by, within walking distance, and we took long walks to all of these places and more.
I was reminded of the trip I took to NYC back in 1974, back when the World Trade Towers were new..just operational enough for 4 adventurous budding Professional District Scout Executives who were visiting for the weekend to take the elevator up as far as it would go. What a ride, and what a site. And then…when I looked at it last year all gone except for the foundation and nearly 3000 innocent people dead, it was hard to bear.
Then there was the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. On Ellis Island were the records of thousands of people who had immigrated into our country. Sometimes waiting for weeks, or even months in the harshests of conditions to get into this wonderful country they had heard so much about. All of them, waiting their turn, waiting patiently and going through all the pangs of being a new immigrant coming into the land of opportunity. Irish, German, Polish, Italian, you name it…they all came and they waited their turn and they filled out their papers and they came into this new world legally. Under the system of law, like they were supposed to do. “Give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, give these, the homeless tempess tossed to me” that’s what Lady Liberty stood for. And for all the people who have built a life in this country through hard work, respect for the LAW of the Land, and respect for others. There are so many of them, and the great city of New York embodies it all!
Now the rule of law seems to be thrown out the door. The sacredness of the Lady of Liberty is trashed by those who would break the law, and by those who support them. What good is it to live in a country where we are supposed to be bound by the rule of law, when many look the other way EVERY DAY so that their profits may soar, their pockets may fill, all to the detriment and loss of those whose families came in through Ellis Island those years ago…legally, and worked so hard to make a life in this country. How easy it seems now to some, when they can ride the streets in brand new cars and trucks within days or weeks of gracing our shores. They can band together and rent huge houses and take the money they earn and buy luxuries with it. Send it back home you say? Maybe, but what good does that do our country?
I know that many ARE here to try and better their lives. There are not just the gold diggers. But, when the law of the land is broken so blatantly with such impunity even by those whose intentions are good, does that make it right? Does that make it legal, just because their need is great? There are many who crossed Ellis Island whose need was just as great…perhaps greater. How many Irishmen starved to death back in Ireland during the famine waiting THEIR turn to get into America? And how many would have bristled had you told them you were going to smuggle them in illegally, as criminals?
Sometimes, somedays I look at the pictures of the Statue of Liberty which I took in New York, and remember looking at that hole in the ground where all those Americans diied, and I just wonder when we are going to wake up and find that the invasion that is going to finish us off didn’t come from Al Quaeda, but from a bit further South.