Build bridges, not walls
As the president declared his emergency on our south border, I daydreamed of Frost’s poem “Mending Wall:”
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down. …
I saw (my neighbor) there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbours.'”
When I lived in New England, I realized that walls were a place to store the stones that grew in the fields. It was better to jointly put them into walls than to engage in the futile effort of throwing them into each other’s yard.
Then I hear Martin Luther Kings words; “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
In the background I see the simple stained glass window in my church symbolizing the common humanity of all peoples. It shows four arms each grasping the forearm of the next so that they form a square. Each arm is of a different color.
Then I see my grandparents immigrating past the Statue of Liberty at the start of the 20th Century. They smile as they read the plaque;
“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-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
My mind turns in horror as I see the start of WWII. Walls in Warsaw create Jewish ghettos. American bureaucratic immigration walls kept Jews trapped in Europe. Now U. S. Vice President Mike Pence makes headlines by visiting the memorial site of Auschwitz.
I feel my own shock when I first heard of the Japanese “internment camps” during WWII, and today immigration vetting is separating children and parents at our southern border. How can America do this? It’s against everything I believe we stand for. Our Declaration of Independence holds “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal …”
And finally tears come to my eyes as I dream of a future Ronald Reagan standing on our southern border in front of our “beautiful new wall” shouting, “Mr. Trump, tear down this wall!”