Give welcome to refugees

Editor of the Reformer:

It is with much sadness and dismay that I heard on the radio today that a very vocal group of Rutland residents wants to stop the immigration of 100 Syrian Refugees to that community. While I understand and empathize with some of their concerns about the shortage of local jobs and housing, it would seem to me that there could be no greater thing for Vermont and for Rutland to do than to accept some of these people, even if not all 100, as originally planned. After all, these are people who have lost everything, and who know suffering and loss in ways that most of us thankfully will never experience in our lifetimes; most of them are women and children.

It would be a great disservice to the ideas of liberty and humanity for any community in our great state to turn these people away in their time of greatest need, and I applaud Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras for trying to do the right thing by giving these people a safe place to call home.

On the statue of liberty it reads: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."


Well I say that, if Rutland does not wish to be the community that gives freedom and acceptance to these huddled masses yearning to breath free, perhaps Brattleboro could lift it's lamp and open it's heart and it's golden doors to them? I for one would welcome them with an open mind, an open heart, and open arms, and I sincerely hope that the rest of my community would do the same. And if we're lucky, maybe the citizens of Rutland will have a change of heart?

Glenn Letourneau, Brattleboro, July 12