Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 30, 2014

America an exceptional nation

By James Lee Elliott | Jan 16, 2014

To the editor:

Today as this nation is in need of a revival of renewed hope and appreciation for sacrifices made to found and defend this great nation, we need to revisit our history.

This nation was founded to serve as the gleaming “city set on a hill,” to be a beacon of enduring freedom to all nations, as well as to protect this nation’s citizens from any future attempts at tyranny.

The first brave immigrant families came to this new world in 1620 to escape being a servant to kings’ tyranny and despotism. No matter how hard they worked to improve their lives in these other countries, they could not get out from under a ruling class as their lives were not their own.

Many were severely punished and often killed for having their own ideas, beliefs and hopes for a better future. This migration to the new world is what created American exceptionalism and greatness as from this came a nation built on freedom and individual liberty.

On Liberty Island in New York Harbor the gateway to the New World stands a huge copper statue known as the Statue of Liberty. Its real name is Liberty Enlightening the World, not to be confused with Liberty of the World, as this nation was established to be different from the rest of the world. The tablet in the left hand of Liberty has the date July 4, 1776, which represents the Declaration of Independence. The right hand holds the torch of freedom. The broken chain near the feet of Liberty symbolizes the victory of liberty over tyranny.

Engraved on a plaque inside the statue’s pedestal is a poem “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus:

“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!”

This nation needs to be reintroduced to the Statue of Liberty as now many of its citizens have become those described in this poem, as the liberty and freedom as originally intended by our Founding Fathers is allowed to be taken away.

Another symbol of American history is the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. The bell rang in 1776 when Philadelphians celebrated the Declaration of Independence. The thought of a bell ringing out for freedom fired people’s imaginations. The bell became a symbol of the Revolutionary War and rang again in 1783 to announce that the United States had won independence and from then on the bell rang on all important patriotic occasions.

We as American citizens need to revisit in remembrance of our past and to let freedom ring once again, firing our imaginations of the founding principles of this great nation, as we the people continue to keep the chain at the feet of Liberty broken from tyranny. We must fan back to full flame the torch that is meant to shine as a light unto the nations as well as it should to the citizens of this nation.

 

– James Lee Elliott, Fairfield

 

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