Monday, January 19, 2009

All that you can be

"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 tossed to me"

In reading the Lizette Alvarez article " More Americans joining military as jobs dwindle" I couldn't help but think of Lady Liberty, the Mother of Exiles, as she is called by Emma Lazarus in her poem "The New Colossus". It appears that the armed forces have become a haven for those who have nowhere else to turn for employment. The report of Ms. Alvarez is filled with stories of the unemployed and uneducated, reaching out for Uncle Sam to provide shelter from the economic storm.

It is the worst of legacies from the Bush era. Where we should be seen as the emblem of hope, our military has become the refuge of the hopeless.The numbers in the military are spiking, even as there is a strong possibility that many of these men and women could find themselves in harm's way. When the best that America has to offer many of us is a way out of one mess, and into another, it is a sad time for us all.

We are about to embark on a new journey. We are filled with excitement and thoughts of a better tomorrow. Let the Statue that beckons those from distant shores become, once more a beacon of hope and light. Let tomorrow be a day when our tired, and our poor, can come home from the service to find a new and invigorated country ready to recapture its strength and glory. Let our homeless and tempest tossed find no need to flee. Let the words at the base of the statue find new meaning in new world.

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