Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Sunset of Liberty? I think not...

Hi guys!
Things have been pretty depressing here at the palace since some of our freedom was taken away on Sunday. In the ticker-tape parade held today, our Vice President, on open mike, uttered the favorite expletive among this White House mob. Enough to make you want to cry.

But, no. We don't need anger management, as one of my West Point classmates suggested. We need anger leadership.

In that regard, I have a new book in the final stages of publication which includes the following introduction and poem that I thought would be timely to share with you:

In 1992, after retiring from the Army, I went to work on Wall Street in New York City. I lived in a rented apartment in Battery Park City and walked to work at Bankers Trust Company each day. My office was on the 54th floor, directly across Liberty Street from the South World Trade Center. Of course, I didn’’t realize that nine years later, the entire area would be ““Ground Zero,”” the site of the beginning of America’’s next war. But the place felt special to me, nonetheless. In the evenings, I often spent time walking through Battery Park, around Castle Garden, or sitting on one of the benches on the Esplanade overlooking New York Harbor. It was a beautiful setting.

One night, long before I had done any serious research on my family history, I sat on a bench in Castle Garden and watched the sunset over the Harbor, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Thoughts of how my family came through these places, en route from Sweden, filled my mind. I took out a pen and wrote the following poem in the margins of The Wall Street Journal I was carrying:

The golden ball again is gone,

The harbor’’s growing still;

Yet heat and dampness linger on,

Awaiting evening’’s chill.

Across the water, in the mist,

The proud, crowned Lady stands;

Her lamp, raised high in righteous fist,

Now glows with golden bands.

That wondrous light on darkening sky

Reminds of who we are;

For what we stand, and when and why

And how we’’ve come so far.

To ““teeming masses”” she once spoke,

““Come breathe of Freedom’’s air.””

And so they came, both rich and broke,

Her lamp would guide them there.

The island next to hers, nearby

Is where my Grandma stood,

And looked across with tearful eye

At what she hoped was good.

And where I sit, my Grandpa sat,

A young boy at the time,

And waited while his mother moved

Her family in the line.

For they had sacrificed it all

To join Miss Liberty.

Her promise great, their prospects small ––

But now with dignity.

Those teeming masses became one

While generations passed,

And father died as well as son

To make our freedom last

We owe so much to those now gone,

How can we ever pay?

Will we insure that each new dawn

Brings Freedom’’s brightest day?

For inspiration, try this start

At sunset, come downtown

Across the water, look with heart

Behold her lamp and crown.

As darkness falls, her torch burns bright

Recalling all who came;

Your soul will fill with Freedom’’s light

And life won’’t be the same.

So, dear friends, ask yourselves "How can we ever pay?" I sugggest that we stop being Americans with short attention spans. That we remember "all we owe to those now gone." That we recognize that our liberty is being taken away and that our children and grandchildren will pay for this thievery, when we too are gone.

Remember March 21, 2010, another day which will live in infamy. Don't lose your temper —but remember why you are angry and help others to remember as well. Anger leadership.

We'll celebrate on the high ground!