On this day, October 28, in 1886, The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland. On the pedestal was inscribed a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus – a statement that would become as much of a symbol of America as the Statue of Liberty itself, for it pronounced to all who approached our Eastern gateway (my family, included), that they were welcome – that they were finally ‘home,’ that the tears, fears and death of their past was now behind them. Although we all have the sonnet memorized, I’ll repeat it here: “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.”
The song I’ve chosen to commemorate this day is from the musical, “Chess.” It was sung about love of country – not America, but of the country the lead character was leaving to come to America. Whenever I hear this song, I think of my family, and what they must have felt when leaving their homeland, seeking a better life. The singer is Kerry Ellis, star of West End musical theatre (including originating the role of “Meat” in “We Will Rock You” – she got the best song in the entire show!) and the guitar soloist is the AMAZING Brian May (lead guitarist of QUEEN).