We have millions of dollars being pumped each year in benefits, and it is not doing great deal to alleviate poverty. We could say a great deal about numbers, and unemployment, and yes, things are doing slightly better than when the recession began, but we have always had the poor in our nation, and, as great as we may be now, and as far as we may advance with new programs, we will still have poor with us when a thousand presidents have come and gone.
Many of our ancestors, including possibly some of my own, came to America through Ellis Island. And when you get there, after that long run on the ship in, coming from the old world with all its history to the new world with all its promise, you will see Lady Liberty. And you will see everything it stands for. Liberty is not just something that was put into a Declaration to be forgotten about, it was something the Founding Fathers expected us to live.
Because we don’t just keep that precious liberty to ourselves and lock it up in dusty old documents, we share it, because if we don’t give it away, it must not be really worth having.
Giving away has been a part of the American Tradition. We are a strong nation not because we have Aircraft Carriers that can wipe out other nation’s entire navies. We are not strong just because we have the greatest military of the most organized government. It is the people that make America strong.
That is why it is “We the People,” because we are the ones who have the right to say how we are governed. And we know the government has its problems. The American people may not have the power of their government, but they have something that no bureaucracy, no matter who runs it; and that is a heart.
We cannot just take one look at Lady Liberty when we get here and forget all about her, and everything she stands for. We have to reach out to those around us, and create communities, which was what those Irish and Italians and Germans created when they got here.
When the “important” people fail, it is time for the world to see the real heroes. Because the real heroes are not the senators that show up to make a speech after the disaster is over. The heroes are the firefighters who actually fight the blaze, and some of who die in the attempt. They are the ones who make America strong, they are the real heroes.
The real heroes are the ones who walk the streets after the big speeches promising prosperity, and hand out food to the starving. The real heroes are the ones with charity.
Faith-Americans must believe that there is a future, or they will work for it. Hope-we must trust that the future will be better, or we will become cynical and simply watch while the nation deteriorates. And charity-which is the fuel that a nation runs on. Now these three abide, but the greatest of these is charity.
Andrew C. Abbott