Monday, June 10, 2013

Pastor Jacob Birch and a Poem for A Nation of Immigrants

Hearing of an in-law's visa denial by FAIT Canada - though they need it desperately - and watching and reading all these stories about NSA/SCE eavesdropping and government corruption, i wanted to remind myself again what living in "America" (i know i know) was meant to be. And so from Emma Lazarus The New Colossus:

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

Update June 26th 2013

My 4 greats grandfather Simon Girty was raised in Pennsylvania but was human trafficked to the Seneca Indians when his mother and step-father's (John Turner) village was overrun in 1755. Young Simon watched his step-father tortured and killed before being separated from his mother and 4 brothers and raised by his captors for 7 years. 
 After starting the War of Independence on the American side, Simon abandoned the colonial cause and joined the Indians and their British allies after witnessing the massacre of Christian aboriginal women at  Fort Pitt by American General Edward Hand. He swam to freedom in Canada West (not yet Upper Canada) across the Detroit river hanging onto the tail of a horse and for his subsequent interpretative and military exploits on their behalf was given several hundred acres near Amhertsberg in what is now Essex County, Ontario. For those same exploits he died with an $800 bounty on his head from the Americans. 

A victim of ethnic cleansing and human trafficking, an American traitor and war criminal, an illegal immigrant and a British war hero... my 4 greats grandfather reminds me and should remind all Canadians that our borders need to more open than closed.