Happy 125th Birthday, Lady Liberty!10 Nov 2011
On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland stood before a crowd of dignitaries on Bedloe’s Island, in New York harbor, to dedicate what was to become an iconic symbol of human striving for freedom: the Statue of Liberty. President Cleveland said Lady Liberty’s “stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression until Liberty enlightens the world.”
One hundred and twenty-five years later, the Statue of Liberty remains a powerful symbol for an immigrant nation, founded as a haven from tyranny and oppression. It has always been more than a statue. It is a touchstone of personal history for millions of Americans whose ancestors caught their first breath of freedom on the shores of New York City, beneath the solemn countenance of Lady Liberty. It represents the promise of the American dream, that hard work will carry you as far as your talent allows – that your success in life depends on your initiative and creativity, not on the social standing of your ancestors.
This anniversary reminds us of the central role immigration has played in our national life. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants, and we should take pride in this heritage, and never forget where we came from. Immigrants built this country and made it great. They carved a new nation out of a raw and unforgiving wilderness. They created a free, democratic society in a world where kings and despots ruled unchecked. Immigrant brains and brawn built the most powerful economy the world has ever known.
America has always been a magnet for talent, especially attractive for risk-takers and entrepreneurs – people who want to give full rein to their creativity, like:
- Andrew Carnegie, the American steel magnate and philanthropist who was born in a humble cottage in Scotland;
- Levi Strauss, a German immigrant who created blue jeans, an American icon, sought the world over;
- Estee Lauder, daughter of eastern European immigrants, who went on to found a multi-billion dollar cosmetics empire.
Immigrants are still building this country, contributing to the vibrancy of our economic and cultural life. Immigrants are:
- smart – studying science, medicine, engineering and math at rates far greater than native-born Americans;
- inventive – contributing to more than a quarter of all international patent applications from the United States;
- entrepreneurial – co-founding more than half of all Silicon Valley firms since 1995;
- high-tech leaders – launching giants of the internet era, like Google, Intel, Sun, and eBay;
- job creators – generating $52 billion in sales in 2005, and creating almost half a million jobs here in the decade preceding.
It’s no coincidence that the Murthy Law Firm chose the Statue of Liberty to symbolize our mission, to provide outstanding legal service to people seeking to share in the American dream. We are proud of our work, bringing the best and brightest here to the land of opportunity, to continue America’s role as a nation of immigrants. The Statue of Liberty serves as a constant reminder of the importance of just how important this work is. From all of us at the Murthy Law Firm: Happy 125th Birthday, Lady Liberty!