Open arms

To the Editor:

Some of the very first undocumented immigrants, the Mayflower pilgrims, arrived on our shores nearly 400 years ago. That nearly half of them survived that first year was due largely to the help and hospitality of the “locals.”

In this festive season of gratitude, my family and I remember the powerful words of Emma Lazarus’ poem fixed to the base of the Statue of Liberty. It reads, in part: “…and her name/ Mother of exiles. From her beacon-hand/ Glows world-wide welcome; …cries she/ With silent lips.’ Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your teeming masses yearning to breathe free./ …. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me./ I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

I cannot hear the phrase “homeless, tempest-tost” without seeing in my mind that recent picture many recall of the tiny refugee child washed up on a beach.

Governor Paul LePage does not speak for me and my family when he wants to deny Syrian refugees a home in our state.

Patricia Ryan

Mount Desert

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