Jewish World Review August 5, 2004 /18 Menachem-Av, 5764
Irony of security and liberty
Almost three years ago, the terror attacks that cast a black cloud over New York and the world also closed the Statue of Liberty. The American landmark that has welcomed the tired, the weary and those seeking a better life in the new world was yet another victim of September 11. But today, Lady Liberty again has thrown open her arms to the world, so Americans and freedom-loving people across the world can come visit the French-made monument to freedom.
How ironic it is that we celebrate this American moment surrounded neatly between All-Star Game and Labor Day in the shadow of the most serious terror warnings since Islamic extremists ran planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon three years ago? Ironic because there has always been a tension between liberty and security, whether it was John Adams' Alien and Sedition Act or FDR's Japanese internment catches or John Ashcroft's Patriot Act, Americans have always debated how to balance the right to live freely with the right to live in peace.
So where do we seek guidance in these troubled days? I look at Benjamin Franklin, the renaissance man of the American Revolution, who warned his fellow founding fathers that those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. That's something to remember when standing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.
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