In New York Harbor stands the statue that reminds us of freedom. She reminds us of our nation’s commitment to invite others into our special place of freedom, to encourage them to build their lives under our flag. I hope that commitment never changes. I hope that this nation will always be one that welcomes strangers.
Welcoming those who dream of living in America is the pinnacle of the word philanthropy. Philanthropy (from Greek φιλανθρωπία) means etymologically, the love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing, and enhancing what it means to be human. Sharing our freedom with those who come to our shores is an incredible way to show love for humanity.
I hope that freedom will always remain as an integral part of our lives as Americans. I hope that the poem of Emma Lazarus, engraved on a tablet within the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty stands, will abide in our hearts.
The New Colossus
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!”