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I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. John Adams had it wrong. Our second president wrote to his wife Abigail that the 2nd of July 1776 would be celebrated as the day the Continental Congress declared our independence from England. Instead, we celebrate on July 4th, the day the founding fathers adopted our Declaration of Independence. Today, on our 245th birthday, we remain a nation of immigrants, which is why we'll begin this morning at a Brooklyn restaurant that you might say carries a torch for people chasing the American dream. Nancy Giles has some food for thought. More than a hundred refugees have gotten a culinary education at Emma's Torch. We're named after Emma Lazarus, who wrote the poem that's on the Statue of Liberty.
She was a staunch advocate for refugees, and we really hope that we can just keep on her good work. At Emma's Torch, you were just learning how to chop and whatnot. Look at you, the head chef. How'd that happen?
Because Emma's Torch helped me, you know, teach me everything. From sautéing to citizenship, coming up on Sunday Morning. Tracey Smith this morning is in conversation with director and Oscar-winning screenwriter Quentin Tarantino. After a lifetime of making movies, Tarantino is turning a page.
Quentin Tarantino was all about making movies and not much else, but now he's a novelist with a wife and a baby son who stole his heart. I can't even see his name written on a piece of paper without crying. Really?
Yeah. What is that about? It's just, he's my Leo. He's my little lion.
We'll have a chat with Cutie on his new book and his new life, coming up on Sunday Morning. They are truly small wonders. This morning, Faith Salie shares some of the lessons we've learned from the lowly ant. Name an animal that builds cities, recycles, hitchhikes, and farms.
Not humans. Give up, look down. It's the mighty ant.
These aren't your mother's picnic ants. Later, on Sunday Morning. Mo Rocca examines the pitched fight over whether Washington, D.C. deserves to be a state, plus a story from Steve Hartman, thoughts on freedom from author Sebastian Junger, some company for Lady Liberty, and more. It's a Sunday morning for July 4th, 2021, and we'll be back after this. Lady Liberty lifts her lamp beside the golden door to welcome countless immigrants to the United States, and a restaurant in Brooklyn has taken those words of Emma Lazarus to heart.
Here's Nancy Giles. The Statue of Liberty has watched over New York Harbor since 1886, and the words on her base, and the words on her base, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, have inspired millions to come here in search of the American dream, and to leave their nightmares behind. Why did you end up leaving Russia to come to the United States? Persecution. Why did you leave Ivory Coast? I need some place to be safe.
Yes, I'm of torture. Asylum seekers like Fontacilla and Ruslan Abdreymov are safe now, thanks to a helping hand from an unlikely place, a little restaurant in Brooklyn. Why did you name it Emma's Torch?
We're named after Emma Lazarus, who wrote the poem that's on the Statue of Liberty. She was a staunch advocate for refugees, and we really hope that we can just keep on her good work. Carrie Brody founded the restaurant five years ago to empower refugees through culinary education, a noble idea that began with unthinkable tragedy. What inspired you to start this, to start Emma's Torch? There was a photo of Alan Curti, who was a three-year-old little boy whose body was washed up on the shores of Greece, and for many people, myself included, that was a moment of realizing when we talk about displaced people around the world, we're talking about that little boy, and for me, that was really a moment of reckoning.
What am I going to do to make sure that in some small way, we're changing that story? Job training is how she's changing the story. Students are paid $15 an hour to learn how to cook.
It's a 10-week program. So far, 120 refugees from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe have graduated, 40 countries in all. All are here legally as they await asylum hearings. B.C., that's before COVID, the meals were fancier and diners ate inside. These days, the meals are more than just food and food, but they're more than just food and food. These days, it's takeout on the patio.
But man, the food is still yummy. Our students are really from all over the world. You walk into our kitchen, you're going to hear a lot of different languages and learn from a lot of different people.
Fortunately, Alex Harris speaks more than a few of those languages. He's the top chef here. We're almost ready to cut our fish. And make sure every student gets the gear they need. Our students get a striped apron, we give them a notebook, we give them a pen and a sharpie. Plus, of course, a chef's knife.
This is your favorite tool as you're working. Students learn the basics, including how to sharpen that knife. Looking into its beautiful eyes. How to see if a fish is fresh.
They should be clear and not very white. If you wanted to work at a small restaurant to learn more about business. And perhaps most important, students learn how to get a job. We will be having volunteers come in who work in the culinary industry, and they're going to be doing practice interviews with all of you.
And when they do graduate, students are very much in demand. And Emma's toward you, just learning how to chop and whatnot. Look at you, the head chef.
How'd that happen? Because Emma does help me, you know, teach me everything. Nasima Bachi rose to become head chef at Zahati's, a James Beard award-winning grocery store in Brooklyn. Not long ago, she was fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan. Fanta Silla from the Ivory Coast joined Nasima at Zahati's right after she graduated. We first met Fanta on Zoom last year. Me, I heard about Emma's torch in Bellevue Hospital. I'm part of a program for survivors of torture. They asked me what she would like to do.
I said, I love cooking. She came in with very good skills. I have to say. Christine Zahati Whalen runs the store. She says Fanta is really great at rolling grape leaves. She's very, I'm good with her fingers. It's up, you have to form it manually.
There's no machine. So she just, she caught on really quick. That's amazing. So we're delighted. So just how valuable is an Emma's torch diploma? Before COVID, depending on the time of year, we were looking at between 90 and 100% job placement rate for those looking for work. Our students are incredible. I in particular used to joke that a lot of our students ended up in restaurants I couldn't get a reservation to.
It can certainly be hard to get a reservation at Olmstead. It's been called the hottest restaurant in Brooklyn. It's not like I'm a saint and I'm just like, oh my God, look, I'm hiring. You know, it helps. It helps to hire talented people. Chef Greg Backstrom currently has three Emma's torch graduates on staff and wishes he had more. These cooks, and they're coming from refugee situations or even victims of torture. I mean, they're coming here from other countries.
Do you feel like they're taking jobs away from Americans? I have a job posting that goes up every day. Seriously? That doesn't get replies. So that's a firm no.
No, that's a firm no. And that brings us to Vietnamese pizza. It was the coolest thing I've ever seen. A dish served up by Tu Pham, a Vietnamese refugee and Emma's torch graduate who worked at Olmstead right before the pandemic hit. Chef Greg saw it like, what is this? I said, I make Vietnamese pizza, put it on the menu. So I said, what?
Are you serious? How did that feel to have that item on the menu? Did you feel like? I feel like empowered. You miss her? I do. She ended up going back to Emma's torch and I'd be lying if I have said I haven't tried to call her and get her to come back.
But Tu Pham has far more important matters on her menu. She's now an American citizen. I tear in my eyes because the happiness like that's the moment I'm like, oh, yes. So happy. Another American dream come true. Poet Emma Lazarus would be proud.
Happy birthday, America. We know him as one of our most creative filmmakers, but Quentin Tarantino is turning a new page and telling our Tracey Smith all about it. I want you to rest well and a month from now, this Hollywood big shot's going to give you what you want. Hollywood, it seems, was built on books.
I'm going to make them an offer you can't refuse. We all know that Hollywood is the place to be. We all know that the Don was a literary legend first. Oh, it's a jolly holiday. As was Mary Poppins and that shark in Jaws. What I always say, most important thing in this town is when you're making money. So it might surprise you that the book that inspired Quentin Tarantino's epic Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was actually written after the film.
And what's got you so upset, man? The movie, you may recall, is about an aging actor and his stunt double looking for relevance in late 60s Hollywood. The new book is actually a novelization, a much more detailed version of the script.
So if, for instance, you want to see even more of Brad Pitt's character, the book will tell you everything that Tarantino couldn't fit in the film. So is this home, L.A.? Yeah. It all makes sense.
Is this home, L.A.? It all makes perfect sense to the author, whom we met at the movie theater he owns in Los Angeles. When I talked to you in 2009, you said, and you've said this to a lot of people, that at 60, you were going to switch gears and become a man of letters, I think is how you put it to me, and do novels. So you're 58, and you're headed down that path already. Yeah, exactly.
Yeah, without cutting it off at 60, I started on that path. Of course, it's been a hell of a ride so far. Quentin Tarantino has made nine movies, and along the way created some of the most memorable characters in film history. From a yellow tracksuit wearing female action hero, to an unnervingly genteel Nazi villain. You're sheltering enemies of the state, are you not? But, as Q.T.
would be the first to tell you. Yeah, that actually works pretty good, yeah, right? Filmmaking is not the easiest way to make a living. What is it about the literary life that appeals to you? Well, one nice thing is I spend a lot of time writing my scripts, and then when I'm done, now I gotta go make the movie. And now I gotta cast it, and we gotta go look for locations, and then we go to another place where I don't live, and then we spend six months doing that. And it's like this whole process. Now, it's a fun process, and it's a wonderful way to live a life. I'm not making it sound like it's a bad thing. I'm very fortunate to have the situation to do that. But the idea of putting your heart and soul into a piece of writing, and then when you're done, you're done? That's amazing. Yeah, how did that feel with this book?
It felt fantastic. Want some bacon? No, man, I don't eat pork. Are you Jewish? No, I ain't Jewish.
I just don't dig on swine, that's all. Tarantino might be a first-time novelist, but he's always been a writer. A lot of it in longhand. I write it like that, and then I don't type, but then I type it up afterwards. So how many, you type like this? No, like this.
Hunt and peck, just one. Yeah, I don't do this. I'm not this efficient, I'm like this. Oh my goodness, that's a long process. You'd be surprised how fast you are with this.
Well, how you pick up speed, you know, once you get comfortable. But now, when you've got to take all that junk, right, and type it up with one finger, you know, if it's not Shakespeare, you can cut it. You can use my straw, I don't have cooties. Yeah, but maybe I do. But his process seems to work.
Both of his Oscars are for best original screenplay. Where does that come from, your gift for dialogue? I guess it would be my memory. I just remember conversations. I remember funny things. I remember turns of phrases. Even if me and you go out to lunch, and we're overhearing an interesting conversation between the daughter and her mother in the next booth.
If they say something interesting, and it could be nine years from now. You'll remember it? Yeah, I'll remember it. As I'm writing, if it's apropos, it'll pop up. It comes back.
Yes, exactly. And it seems he chooses his actors as carefully as his words. I don't know who you are, but you touched me today. Bruce Dern played movie ranch owner George Spahn in Once Upon a Time, but Tarantino's first pick was Burt Reynolds, who passed away before the film was finished. Did you get a chance to shoot with him? No, no, I got a chance to rehearse with him. I'm officially the last role he played, because he came to the script reading. So that was his last acting.
Not only that, the night he died, what he was doing before he passed on is he was running lines with his assistant. Wow. That's like sad and beautiful at the same time.
It is. In a way, it has to make you feel good to give him that chance to be- He was so happy. He was so happy. I can honestly say he died happy. I'm not saying he died happy because of me, but he was happy. He was definitely happy when he passed on. These days, Quentin Tarantino seems to have found his own share of happiness. He's now a married father of one. When we talked the last time, we talked about relationships, and you said, I'm all about the movie.
I need to focus on my movie. That's all I care about. That's it. What changed? Well, the woman I met changed it. Daniela Pick. I met her, and we fell in love, and she wanted to get married, and I did too, and so I married. I mean, it's pretty incredible because it's something that trumped your ultimate love, the love of the movie.
Absolutely, and she didn't take away anything from it. Quentin and Daniela, who split their time between LA and her native Israel, have a 16-month-old son, Leo, who, no surprise, already likes watching movies with dad. And so I now know officially the first motion picture he's seen is Despicable Me 2.
That's excellent, and the cool thing is, here you are sharing a movie with your son. If I talk about it too much, I'm already going to start crying. I can't even see his name written on a piece of paper without crying. Really? Yeah.
What is that about? It's just, he's my Leo. He's my little lion. I just see his name, L-E-O, written down, isolated, and it just... When it comes to him, he's just the most charming human being I've ever met in my life. And so it's like, half the time I look at him, and I'm just laughing because he's so funny, and the other time I'm just bursting into tears. And those are both great. Yeah. That was the best acting I've ever seen in my whole life.
Of course, work is still pretty great too. His book is likely the first of many, but he says his next film will be his last. Do you have a sense of what that 10th film is going to be?
No, I don't have a clue. If I had to guess, I would think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is sort of the epic at the end of the career. If I had to guess, I would think the 10th film would be more epilogue-y. What's epilogue-y?
What do you mean? Well, it's just, it's not an epic. It's the, you've told the big story, and then there's the little thing at the end. You could say that's classic Quentin Tarantino, an artful ending. I think this just might be my masterpiece. That leaves you wanting more. These next few weeks here at Sunday Morning, we're looking back at a few of our Sunday best.
Stories we liked so much, we'd like to share them with you again. To begin, Faith Salie with some small wonders of the insect world who can teach some big lessons to the rest of us. When most people think about ants, if they think about them at all, ants are pests in the pantry or on a picnic. But here in Belize, the ant is the king of the jungle. They are constantly on the hunt, swarming under every rock, and lurking in almost every flower. So how many different kinds of ant species do you think are in the Belizean rainforest? Well, right around here, I mean, there could probably be several hundred. In the tops of the trees alone, there can be dozens. That's a howler monkey. Excuse vertebrates. Oh my God. I thought we were on Lost. Esaton hamatum.
Mark Moffett is a biologist. Inside there, we have the queen and her brood. Author, photographer.
The queen there, that's her head and abdomen. And ant enthusiast. Oh, yes. Almost from birth. I learned early that ants are controlling the world under our feet. Down there as an infant, I would watch them doing all these things that were very human-like, building roads, working together to collect food. Ants do all kinds of things that even primates like a chimpanzee don't have to deal with. Take the leafcutter ant. These insects live in societies of millions.
You actually hear them. You get to know their sound, the motion of tiny little leaves. And feeding all those millions of mandibles requires a lot of work. This is a tough job, and their jaws get quite worn down by it. Their jaws, however, contain a lot of zinc, so they're essentially living can openers that can grab onto the leaf from one side, tear through with that other tooth on the other side.
The way you use a little portable can opener. A lot of these ants are carrying leaves with hitchhikers on them. That's right, and this was something that early explorers even pointed out. Why are these little ants climbing on top of the leaves and getting hauled along? Well, one reason is it probably costs the colony less energy for them to stand on the leaves than to walk themselves, so this is just good economics. Carpooling.
Carpooling it is. These leafcutters are carrying their booty back to the colony, but they're not going to eat the leaves. No, they don't actually eat these leaves, and you would think they would, because they're carrying literally pound after pound of leaf down this tree. But they actually turn them into a mulch on which they raise a fungus. They're fungus-eating ants. They're totally farmers.
They're tire-leaf farmers. In fact, they do everything you think human farmers do. With behavior this complicated, they must be pretty smart, right? Ants are not smart. In fact, if you watch an ant for any length of time, you're going to end up wanting to help it, because ants are really very inept.
What's amazing about ants is that in the aggregate, all of these inept creatures accomplish amazing feats as colonies. And according to Deborah Gordon, professor of biology at Stanford, they do it all without a boss. In an ant colony, there's nobody in charge. There are no bureaucrats. There are no foremen. There are no managers. There's nobody telling anybody what to do.
We put a lot of effort into thinking through how to organize some of the things that we try to do as groups. Ants don't put in any effort at all. They're pretty messy about it, and it works really well. Most ants, it turns out, simply follow the crowd. And now, it turns out, scientists are following ants to attack one of life's most frustrating experiences, air travel. So Southwest Airlines said, help us figure out the most efficient way to get our passengers on a plane.
And you said, I know I'll use ants. Because I know they do complicated things with simple rules. Doug Lawson was a systems analyst at Southwest Airlines for some 20 years. Well, we discovered that there is a better order in taking your seat. Lawson used computer simulated ants to determine the most efficient way of boarding a plane, which turns out to be open seating. Southwest's way of boarding without seat numbers is actually more efficient than when I board another airline and know exactly what my seat is. Right. When we simulated what the different airlines are doing, it turns out, with a signed seat, there's a one-third chance that you're going to ask two people to get up.
Whereas open seating, since the middle seat is the undesirable one, generally, that's the one that's last to be filled, which means only one person is likely to get up, the person sitting near the aisle. Did these ants have carry-on baggage? Were these ants cranky?
How did you account? Yeah, we left out bad behavior. So ants may not be smart, but they can be efficient. Something to ponder while waiting in the airport security line. Arguably, humans are too smart for the functioning of the whole society. It pays to be individually stupid. This is the wisdom of the crowds idea. Basically, all those little ants with their mostly ignorant choices, out of all of that, emerges smart society.
All of which is to say, the lowly ant is actually pretty impressive. informative stories that exist out in the world because, well, I need it. And maybe you do too, from the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and we're not able to do in daytime television, so watch out.
Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go. It's been some 60 years since the United States added two new stars to Old Glory's Field of Blue. Alaska became our 49th state in January of 1959. Hawaii, our 50th in August of the same year. So is it time for 51? We ask our Mo Rocca to consider the debate over making Washington, D.C. our newest state. It's made official at the White House. Hawaii's half-century-old request for statehood is granted. In 1959, when Hawaii became the 50th state, truly an historic occasion, it was the conclusion of a decades-long fight. Another new flag with nine rows of stars.
Another new look for Old Glory. To be sure, there had been fierce political opposition. We would have in the American Congress two senators and a representative who, in my judgment, would be influenced by the Communist Party. And questions about whether Hawaiians could ever be real Americans. The yellow race, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Filipinos. Their background is not the culture of the United States as a whole.
As one who does not belong to the Caucasian star. But future U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, who'd lost his right arm in World War II, had a ready response.
During the last war, World War II and Korean conflict, we lost four times more men than the average of the United States. I think we've been begging for statehood too long. Sixty-two years later and 5,000 miles away, there's another battle for statehood being waged. The bill is passed. In April, the U.S. House passed a bill to grant statehood to Washington, D.C. The measure is unlikely to survive the Senate.
But the issue is not about to die. With more than 700,000 residents, almost half of whom are African-American, the District of Columbia has a bigger population than either Wyoming or Vermont. Residents here pay federal taxes, more per capita than any state. They can vote for president, but they have no voting representation in Congress.
I was outraged, completely outraged and angry. Hector Rodriguez moved to Washington in 1968 after serving in the U.S. Army. Even when I was in the military on active duty, I could vote. And when I arrived in D.C., suddenly I realized that I didn't have my full freedom. We met him at one of the city's lesser known monuments, the D.C. War Memorial, honoring 500 of the some 6,000 district residents who've given their lives for their country.
I felt as a soldier who had served my country that I was not treated equally. This is the only capital city in the world where the residents who live in their capital don't have the same rights as everybody else in the country. No one has been slugging it out for D.C. statehood longer than Eleanor Holmes Norton. I will not yield, sir. The District of Columbia has spent 206 years yielding to people who would deny them the vote.
I yield you no ground. She's represented the district as a delegate for more than 30 years, though she's not allowed to vote on legislation. For three generations, my family has been denied the rights other Americans take for granted. Her grandfather was a D.C. firefighter working in a segregated unit. My father was a civil servant. My mother was a school teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools. Did you know growing up that residents of D.C. had this unusual status?
I certainly knew it from the time we were children. Children, because you lived in the nation's capital, you had no voting rights. It was as if you didn't live in America. The question over D.C. voting rights stretches back to the beginnings of Washington itself. The Constitution called for the formation of a federal district independent of any state to serve as the nation's capital. Land was ceded from Maryland and Virginia for the 100-square-mile District of Columbia on the banks of the Potomac River.
There were already people living there in the existing towns of Georgetown and Alexandria, and soon in a brand new one called Washington, which, by the way, is why it's written out Washington, D.C. But the Constitution had nothing to say about their rights to representation. And they had just founded a country on the principle of no taxation without representation. So they realized that they've got two competing principles when it comes to the District of Columbia.
Historian George Derrick Musgrove, co-author of Chocolate City, a history of D.C., says the irony was not lost on the founding fathers. They debate it and they debate it. And Madison finally just throws up his hands and says, I know that any state that cedes the land for the district will, in fact, figure out how to make sure that these people are represented. He just punts.
He punts, essentially. In 1847, the portion of D.C. south of the Potomac retroceded to Virginia, in part because Alexandria's slave traders feared that slavery would be outlawed in the district, giving the city its current shape. It wasn't until the 1990s when statehood for the district became a real political movement. But at the time, the city was deemed ungovernable by statehood opponents.
Mayor Marion Barry made national headlines when he was caught in an FBI sting smoking crack cocaine. The district, a liberal bastion of corruption and crime, has yet to come even close, in this member's eyes, to deserving the awesome privilege and responsibility of statehood. The city was on the verge of bankruptcy. We had one of the highest murder rates in the entire country in 1993. So these were serious problems that people used as an excuse to reject statehood legislation. Democrats, who in 1993 had the White House and both houses of Congress, gave only tepid support to a D.C. statehood bill, which died a quiet death. But today, the district is a very different place.
While homicides have risen over the last few years, they're well below the early 90s peak, and the city is today on firm financial footing. We're moving into what's known as the cellar. So this is where the actual act of fermentation happens. Thor Cheston is the owner of Right Proper Brewing.
He and 22-year-old Jamal Holtz are part of a new generation of activists. I'm trying to function as a small business, and I don't have someone in Congress that's going to fight for me, that's going to fight for my business, because it's in Washington, D.C. This issue, for me, it's personal. My mom did not have full health care.
She was uninsured. So the day where everyone was like, call your senator, reach out to your representative and tell them to vote for the Affordable Care Act, it was the day where I knew I was voiceless. You cannot skirt the Constitution. But opponents of the statehood bill say not so fast, and they're invoking the Constitution. There's no power in Congress to turn the district into a new 51st state. The only way this can be done is through a constitutional amendment.
Roger Pilon is a legal scholar with the Cato Institute. It's clear that the people in the District of Columbia want a vote. There's only one way under current circumstances that they can do that. They will have to move to a new state. There are people in the district that have been here for many generations.
Does that make any difference? Constitutionally, no. What do you say to the argument that if you care this much about voting rights, move to another state? I am almost speechless. You can't just pick up your life.
People don't have that option. Statehood is also a matter of civil rights. This is a full bore socialism on the march in the House. But the real battle is a bare-knuckled partisan one over control of a closely divided Senate. They want two seats in perpetuity in the United States Senate. In 2020, 92 percent of residents here voted for Joe Biden. A new state would almost certainly add two more Democrats to the Senate.
No surprise that opposition to statehood is almost exclusively Republican. You've got to love that prospect of two more Democrats in the Senate. How much does that motivate you?
Well, that motivates me a lot. We need two more Democrats in the Senate. While the drive for statehood may have stalled in Congress, the very people who live in the shadow of the Capitol are not about to throw in the towel. In a 2016 referendum, a record high 86 percent of D.C. residents registered their support for statehood. Why it matters is it's almost as though the country is not yet complete. It feels like disenfranchisement, that your voice does not matter.
And it's time that we make sure that our vote counts. Steve Hartman this morning has a love story, something lost and something found. Oh my gosh, let's find the picture. Peter and Lisa Marshall of Andover, Connecticut, are paging through the most memorable day of their lives. It looked like a lovely wedding. Was. It was unforgettable. But he's forgotten it. He has forgotten it. Who's this? It's the saddest part because you want to reminisce and you're alone in the memory.
Redwing Blackbird. Three years ago, at the age of 53, Peter was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Eventually, he not only forgot his wedding day.
He's pretty, isn't he? He forgot his wife. Lisa became just another nameless caretaker.
Their entire history together permanently erased. And yet a whisper of their love must have remained because Lisa says all of a sudden he began courting her as if they just started dating until one day a wedding scene came on TV. Peter pointed to the screen and said, let's do it.
And I said, do what? And he pointed at the he pointed again and I said, you want to get married? And he got this grin on his face and he said, yeah. So he fell in love with me again. Lisa accepted his proposal and a few months ago she staged a wedding for her already husband.
I can't even describe to you how magical it was. He was so present and he was so happy and it was very touching. Peter, you may kiss your bride. Right, Lisa says Peter hadn't been this lucid in weeks. Unfortunately, it was a Cinderella moment. The clock struck 12 and by the next morning this wedding too was lost to the fog.
Yes, but Lisa says she fully expected that. I'm the one who's going to remember that and that's going to help me heal later because it really is a true love story. Alzheimer's can take away so much.
But fortunately, love is almost always the last to go. Freedom. The founders saw it as the most basic of human rights. It's also the title of a new book from author Sebastian Junger, published by Simon & Schuster, a part of ViacomCBS. Sebastian Junger now with thoughts on the meaning of freedom in the land of the free. Years ago, some buddies and I walked up the East Coast along the railroad lines, sleeping under bridges, drinking out of creeks and cooking over campfires.
It was a kind of high-speed vagrancy that saw us pass through everything. Farms, ghettos, suburbs, wild lands that make up this great country. Once we walked through Chester, Pennsylvania, a small but dangerous town that has recently tripled the murder rate in nearby Philadelphia. It was a warm fall day and I saw a man drinking on his front porch. He raised his beer as we passed by and I stopped to ask him what he loved most about America. Freedom, he said without hesitation, it's a free country.
The man was African-American and lived in an exceedingly poor, broken community. It seemed like a kind of moral victory that he would remain focused on freedom, despite the injustice of his circumstances. My father grew up in Europe and fled fascism in Spain and then in France. And he told me that he came to America because he knew that freedom and democracy would never fail here. He always made sure to tell me that many thousands of Americans were buried in his home country of France, where they had died fighting for the most basic freedom there is. That no one, no matter how powerful, can wield cruel and arbitrary authority over anyone else. The same can be said about American revolutionaries who overthrew British rule and Union forces that defeated slave-holding Confederate states during the Civil War.
I believe that my father, a theoretical physicist who spoke with an accent, and the man on his front porch in Chester, would have had a huge amount to talk about. American democracy has survived every single attack upon it, including Al-Qaeda's fourth airplane, which was headed for the U.S. Capitol building on 9-11 until passengers forced it down into a field in Pennsylvania. Twenty years later, thousands of MAGA supporters attack the same building for the same reason. It's the heart of our democracy, and they wanted to intimidate and control us.
We may know the greatness of our country, it seems, by the cruelty of our foes. If the Statue of Liberty has been lonely, standing at the mouth of New York Harbor as she has these past 134 years, she certainly never showed it. Still close to visitors due to COVID, Lady Liberty projects the same confidence and majesty as ever.
Only now, she's got company. On Wednesday, a second, smaller Statue of Liberty arrived on our shores, a gift from France. They say it symbolizes the enduring friendship between our two countries. French Ambassador Philippe Etienne. It's more important than ever to underline how our democracies need to work together with our common values, including everything which is symbolized by these statues.
Freedom, but also equal opportunities for all our citizens. Hoisted from her Parisian perch last year, and carefully wrapped, the statue boarded a freighter bound for America. Retracing the very same transatlantic route the original statue traveled in 1885. As the new statue passed Liberty Island, New York City's fire department greeted it with a water cannon salute. Crafted from the original platform of the statue, crafted from the original plaster model used by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, this bronze replica weighs in at nearly a thousand pounds. At nine feet high, it's about one-sixteenth the size of its much larger counterpart. This Independence Day weekend, the statue was on display on Ellis Island, less than a mile from her big sister.
Then it's off to Washington, D.C., where the statue will be installed at the French Ambassador's residence, just in time for Bastille Day on July 14th. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning.
Now streaming. I used to believe in progress that no matter what we do, we just end up back at the start. We're in crazy time. The Paramount Plus original series The Good Fight returns for its final season. The point isn't the end. The point is winning. There are bad people in the world. The best way to protect the good people is to convict the bad. So here's to us. The Good Fight, the final season, now streaming exclusively on Paramount Plus.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-29 05:48:05 / 2023-01-29 06:04:39 / 17