"Growing up, I sometimes wondered why was it so important for me to see the Statute of Liberty when, as a young boy, we arrived in New York harbor. Me, conceived in a cellar in Holland, where my mother hid for eighteen months from the Nazis, and a father who fought in the underground and then came to Camp Lejeune to join the Allied Marines."
"As I grew up, I realized what it meant to be part of the “American Dream” and that Lady Liberty is the physical representation of that dream. I became active in politics largely because it was my way of giving back to our society, and I’ve continued giving back for the last 40 plus years. More than anything else, however, I realized that the Statute represents the hope that immigrants have felt from the earliest of times when they came here. Her message for all who gaze upon her is that this is a safe place; a place where you don’t have to worry or fear the kind of things that my parents and grandparents had gone through during the Holocaust."
"I have lived through 12 presidents since I came here as a little boy. Some I liked, some I did not. Some I worked for and helped get elected. Some I worked against. But each one was MY president. I respected each one and above all I respected the office. We may have had different philosophies or views on issues, but they were still MY president. They were the ultimate moral authority not only for us but for the entire world."