The issue of whether or not to allow Syrian refugees to enter the United States is an issue that bespeaks to what amounts to a crisis of conscience. Our decision will tell us and the world a lot about who we are as a people. We can choose to give in to fear or to open up our arms and welcome with compassion another group of stormed tossed strangers to our country.

Our history as a nation is a mixed bag of moments, some of those moments we can be proud of and others, well, it is hoped we have learned from our mistakes. Those were moments when we gave into fear, the fear of strangers.

We, the United States of America, are an oddity in the world. We are the light of freedom that has attracted countless thousands from just about every nook and cranny of the world to our shores.

We have a great lady who has welcomed and still does welcome the rejected refuge of the world. Lady Liberty beckons our newcomers with her outstretched lamp of freedom beside the Golden Door. No this is not the door that candidate Donald Trump talks about on his planned wall to keep people out. No this is the lamp of liberty and hope that has become a worldwide symbol of freedom and liberty to the peoples of the world.

Our country is a nation made up of all types of people whose backgrounds are different, who have all shades of the colors of the human race. Their faiths represent every religion of the world. Some came on boats barely clinging to life from Cuba, some came from the boat people of Vietnam. Some immigrant groups such as the Irish, Germans, and the Chinese have faced difficult times when they came to our country seeking freedom. They wanted to breath free, free from oppression and the fear of their own death back where they came from.

The one thing that we all share in common, after all of these years is that we are one people, AMERICANS. We may have come from England or France or Italy or Japan, or from some place in Africa. We are America a land of Immigrants!

It is my hope that in this crisis of conscience we will accept the challenge. That we will have as a result another shining moment in our history when we will once again be the beacon of hope and light for those who wait by the GOLDEN DOOR, for entrance to a generous country of the free and the brave.


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