Monumental Independence


Monumental Independence

On this, Independence Day for the USA, I’ve decided to post some quotes from famous monuments as an inspiration for the future…

On the plaque at The Statue of Liberty:

New Colossus

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!”

Three of the many quotes from The FDR Memorial:

“In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.”
October 2, 1932

“Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.”
January 24, 1935

“Among American citizens, there should be no forgotten men and no forgotten races.”
October 26, 1936

From the southeast portico of The Thomas Jefferson Memorial:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”
-Excerpted from a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816.

A few quotes from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial:

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
(December 24, 1967, Atlanta, Georgia)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
(April 16, 1963, Birmingham, Alabama)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
(February 25, 1967, Los Angeles, California)

“Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.”
(April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, Manhattan, New York)


All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at:



2 thoughts on “Monumental Independence

  1. Good words to live by, my friend. If only we could.

    Yet I did make it out to DC 6 or 7 years ago. For a graphics conference, but after one day I said screw it, I’m doing the city. Walked up and down the national mall, visited Arlington, went to Georgetown just to see the stairs from “Exorcist”, and a great Italian dinner, btw.

    I missed the Vietnam Memorial by 300 feet (didn’t look at my map properly) but did spend time at the Lincoln memorial. Every single damn word inscribed on those walls came from the heart….of all but a few of us at one point or another.


    • You’re most welcome, Bob.

      It’s been several decades since I’ve been to DC. The monuments and quotes are amazing and inspiring. Gotta look up Lincoln’s now…

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