The United States is one of the strongest advocates of human rights and is a symbol of individual freedom to the rest of the world. Living in America means having the advantage of personal freedom and sharing the same promise of the American dream. Freedom to be and believe in everything or nothing can be a blessing or a curse, but the point is that everyone has the power to create their own destiny. They can become whomever and whatever they set their minds to become. The American dream can be thought of as the gold at the end of the rainbow. The United States has been voicing its beliefs loudly at home and to the international community that America offers all people safe haven and with that the potential for obtaining unlimited wealth and opportunity.
Citizens of America are guaranteed human rights at birth. The right to choose is a powerful thing. Sometimes Americans may not realize this advantage until much later in life. This is either because of a lack of education (free but not mandatory) or maybe because they are spoiled with arrogance. Sometimes the only way to really appreciate something is to be deprived of it. People that live somewhere that does not believe in human rights for its citizens often relocate their entire family to America in a search for freedom. Freedom from being suppressed, or from being forced to live in poverty and oppression. Many countries will not tolerate civil unrest and routinely imprison citizens that speak out against its laws Prisoners are tortured and sometimes killed instantly for committing acts that are considered simply “peaceful protest”.
The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791, three years after the Constitution of the United States was ratified. This is probably the most important addition included in the Constitution as it guarantees the people of the United States a true democracy. An individuals right to life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness is spelled out in a group of ten amendments labeled the Bill of Rights and is included thereafter with the United States Constitution. Many other countries that had similar philosophies found it necessary to include the Bill of Rights or portions thereof for their own constitutions to guarantee their citizens human rights.
The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States as a gift from France to symbolize our friendship and welcoming our new democracy and the universal appeal of freedom and liberty . Wikipedia includes information about the bronze plaque in the pedestal noting that it is inscribed with the sonnet “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazareth. They tell us that although it was never engraved on the exterior of the pedestal the sonnet reads,
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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"