(originally published July 4th, 2005)

I love America, my home country. America is the only country in the world that’s gone to war to protect and free others, and in modern times always returned to its own shores, not staying as conquerors. America is the first country called upon whenever there’s a disaster anywhere in the world. America is the country that has the most immigrants each year. Love it or hate it, America is the preeminent country in the world, and I’m proud that my dad went to two wars for this country, whether or not we agree that those wars were justified.

Most people know about the Statue of Liberty. Most people know about the phrase “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.” Well, that’s not all quite accurate, nor complete. It’s not written in the tablet that Lady Liberty carries in her hands. It’s actually written on a plaque attached to the base. It’s part of a full poem, with a title and all. With everything that we look back on in American history, the wars, the politics, the capitalism,… this is what America is truly about:


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.”

— Emma Lazarus