Lady Liberty, so beautiful

Published 3:35 pm Monday, July 3, 2017

Is there a more iconic figure for our nation, particularly this week, than the Statue of Liberty? I am so glad that I have had the pleasure of seeing her up close and personal. She is an imposing figure; over 150 feet in height, not counting the huge pedestal.

The pyramid-shaped pedestal adds another 150 feet to the entire monument and from the ground to the tip of Lady Liberty’s torch in her majestic right hand is 305 feet. That’s the length of our football field.

On the other hand, it is more inspiring than imposing. To think that in one of the world’s greatest cities, with skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and the Twin Towers replacement, One World Trade Center, that this gift from the nation of France is the Number One attraction proves that when many people think of America, their first thought is the Statue of Liberty.

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Since, by the grace of God, I was born in this free country, I can only imagine the awe that came upon those immigrants who saw in the distance this torch of freedom and, then, sailed right by as they came to this country seeking a new life to be found in becoming Americans.

In high school chorus we sang a medley of patriotic songs at our spring concert. I remember the climax of the concert. It was Irving Berlin’s music and Emma Lazarus’ words.

“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 upon the golden shore.” I can still remember the thrill I received from such inspiring words.

This week could be known as Freedom Week. With our nation’s birthday celebration, July 4th, coming almost in the middle of the week, freedom will be heard and appreciated more than at any other time of the year.

I wish we felt that freedom was worth celebrating every day just like we do on the Fourth of July. Actually, we do celebrate freedom everyday as we go about our business doing what we have to do and no one tries to prevent us. I hope that what we have to do is the same as what we want to do. That’s the freedom of America.

Lady Liberty is not the only icon we celebrate this week. How about the Declaration of Independence? In preparing for my message on Sunday, which was on the real freedom that we have in Christ, I read that precious document written by Thomas Jefferson.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [male and female] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

My memory is not as good as it used to be, but I remember that sentence. I wonder if our students these days are expected to remember such important words. Memorizing portions of important literature is not as popular as it used to be, but I would think that if our students are not learning about the important documents of our history, that’s not good.

One of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes is “The philosophy in the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

I love this country. If we want this country to remain strong for much longer, we need to let our children know just how special it really is. Stand in awe of Lady Liberty. Revere the Declaration. Salute the flag!