A Torch for Truth

The title of this page, Liberty Enlightening the World, is the original name of what is now known as The Statue of Liberty. I like the former name better. The contemporary moniker suggests a monument to an old ideal, perhaps dead like most figures represented by statues around the world. It implies a memorial to a past event. The original name, on the other hand, suggests a dynamic process, going on now, and continuing into the future. It is a light shining on a future ideal, one that has yet to be achieved but will be endlessly striven for: a world in which liberty exists for all people.

The New Colossus

by Emma Lazarus

Not Like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our shores sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lighting, 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!"

Part of David T. Pierson's website. Contact me at <dtp@mindstory.com>. This page was last modified on 14 March 2006.