January 6, 2021 is a day that Americans and much of the world will never forget. After the numbing, emotional rollercoaster of the past ten months of a global pandemic, racial tensions, riots, violence, economic hardship and political madness, we arrived at the biggest threat on our democracy in modern times.

As we watched with horror and disbelief, our nation fell on one of the darkest moments in history. Four days later I’m still trying to comprehend and digest what had happened and wonder where on earth our future lies.

This year has been one heartbreak after another, and has brought about so much shock, anger and disgust at the realization what our country really is. Broken and filled with hate. We are truly more divided than ever and at times it is hard to remain hopeful of what lies ahead. But I’ve always been a believer in the human spirit and our ability to fight for justice and some of our hardest held beliefs. I won’t give up and I have so much hope in our younger generation who came out in record numbers to vote and use their voice to fight for their beliefs. Who truly believe that all man and woman and whatever gender is created equal and has the same rights to liberty and justice for all.

As we wait in anticipation for a peaceful transfer of power, let’s hope that hatred and violence don’t repeat itself. I leave with a few images of what America means to me. Not the ugly images we’ve seen over the past few months of rioting and violence, but the beauty of “life, liberty and justice for all”. Maybe it is a pipe dream at this point but I still believe in our tattered nation. I still believe that there is kindness, generosity, tolerance and love of others despite our differences.

The Statue of Liberty

There she stands….rising tall and fighting for our freedom.

Hundreds of years after Liberty arrived, her symbol of freedom remains, perhaps even stronger and more insistent than before.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

“Over 12 million immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island, the nation’s chief gateway during the years 1892 to 1924. Today, over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who crossed this island before dispersing to points all over the country.” – Sign inside the entrance of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

Ellis Island Immigration Musuem

Looking out through the Ellis Island Immigration Center at the Statue of Liberty and the symbol of freedom.

Shall we never forget….Descending into the depths of humanity: The 9/11 Memorial

Freedom Tower NYC

1 World Trade Center Tower or “The Freedom Tower” is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, in July 2013. She looms directly behind the 9/11 Memorial.

“May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance, and intolerance”.       – 9/11 Memorial

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is perhaps one of the most iconic symbols of American freedom and democracy. Yet, tragically, Mount Rushmore came at a big cost. Explorers and pioneers who came to South Dakota destroyed the lives of the native people who had occupied this land for a very long time. Tragically, many Native Americans were slaughtered and their land and way of life was destroyed. The new Americans took their most sacred lands and destroyed their culture. It is a terrible reminder of our ugly past.

The Crazy Horse Memorial South Dakota

“By carving Crazy Horse, if I can give back to the Indian some of his pride and create a means to keep alive his culture and heritage, my life will have been worthwile.” – Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski

Let freedom ring.

4 comments

  1. Such a heart breaking time for you Nicole. But don’t give up hope. There’s been a lot of push back.
    I love that carving of Crazy Horse. I wasn’t aware of it.
    Alison

  2. Well written! Echoing the emotions of millions of Americans. I was so horrified and sickened watching these vermin, like rats crawling all over the Capitol exterior . Like a piece of cheese, left open for them to bite into with their teeth, stealing that which was not theirs to desecrate! We hope for better times.

  3. I watched the horror of January 6 on my television. It is difficult to believe that this could actually happen in USA. I truly hope some lessons have been learned. I have loved all my visits to America and look foreword to many more once we can all travel again.

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