A New Life
The Statue of Liberty, meticulously patched and fitted with a new flame, turns 100 this week. Through the years, the statue has been transformed from a symbol of fraternity between France and the United States into the pre-eminent symbol of freedom, a beacon for millions of immigrants and a patriotic symbol of unrivaled emotional intensity. It has inspired poetry and song, speechmaking and caricature. But mostly the statue has been a personal symbol, to millions around the world, of the hopes and promise of a nation that proclaims itself dedicated to individual liberty. Five very personal perspectives:
Hue Cao, 11, of Hawaii, made news with this contest-winning essay when the car she won had to be auctioned to preserve her family’s welfare eligibility.
I think the Statue of Liberty is the greatest symbol of freedom in the world.
My family and I are from Vietnam. After the war ended, the Communists took over and they were very cruel, stern and ill-tempered. They took away our freedom, and worst of all, they could kill anyone. We had a very hard life under them.
In 1979, we escaped on a small fishing boat, and I remember how crowded it was before a Navy ship saved us. The Americans provided us with food, shelter and clothing.
We wanted to live in America, a land where there is liberty and justice. Every time we saw a picture of the Statue of Liberty, my mother would tell us that she is America. America is a place that lends a hand to those in need. The Americans care for all people, from homeless to hopeless people. After we arrived in America, we promised our mother to love, to care and protect the Statue of Liberty.
In conclusion, I would like to say that America is truly my home. I shall live in this country forever, because this nation has given my family a brand-new life.