American Ideals and the Sometimes Very Disappointing Realities
Although we often look nostalgically at our national past and find the present wanting in comparison, looking backwards can also remind us of the very considerable progress that we have made toward realizing the ideals that the nation was ostensibly founded to pursue. It reminds us also that the fault is almost never in the ideals themselves but often in our self-serving certainty that we are preserving them when in fact we are abusing them.
I came across the following passage on the dedication ceremonies for the Statue of Liberty in the Wikipedia article on the great landmark:
No members of the general public were permitted on the island during the ceremonies, which were reserved entirely for dignitaries. The only females granted access were Bartholdi’s wife and de Lesseps’s granddaughter; officials stated that they feared women might be injured in the crush of people. The restriction offended area suffragists…
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