I know this is a little late, but it is a great story from a man from Cork. I’ve been to New York a few times, but never have seen this memorial.
Rory Fitzgerald does a fine bit of writing, some of which I’ve posted below. Definitely worth a minute of your day!
“I looked at the skyscrapers, the blue Hudson, and the friendly people walking by. In the ether within and behind this complex nation lies the golden soul of the improbable proposition that is America. And so I whispered to it, to the quiet soul of America, as though it just might hear me: “thank you”.
Thank you for giving those poor people a home. Those immigrants beat impossible odds and survived unbearable hardships. This triumph of the human spirit was only possible because America opened its arms to them and offered freely a new home where, from of the black pits of despair, their futures shone bright.
St Patrick’s Day is not just a day for Irish Americans to be proud. It’s a day for all Americans to be proud. Whether your ancestors are African, Mexican or Chinese, the Irish-American story, like so many others, shows that the words at the foot of the statue of liberty are no empty promise:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free.”
Perhaps too it gives us pause for thought, and asks us to remember today’s poor and dispossessed, both in the forgotten corners of the world, and in our own neighborhoods. But think of them and look beyond mere pity: remember the vast potential of the wretchedly poor:…”