Augusta Supervisor Tracy Pyles and immigrant children: America is Reagan’s Shining City on a Hill

Tracy PylesBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Supervisor Tracy Pyles joined other Augusta County supervisors Wednesday night at a public hearing about the immigrant children who are being housed at the Shenandoah Juvenile Center in Verona , sharing his comments in support of the children (see his comments at Live blogging immigrant children issue at Augusta County supervisors meeting).

Supervisor Pyles spoke about how America’s optimism, going fearlessly into the future, serves us better than living in fear and anger. Then he used Ronald Reagan’s shining city on a hill as an example of that optimism and quoted a portion of President Reagan’s farewell address from January 11, 1989:

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

“And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”

With that, he agreed with Supervisors David Karaffa, Jeff Moore, Carolyn Bragg, and Larry Wills that Augusta County will not break the contract with the federal government and that we will provide a port in the storm for refugee children escaping untold horrors in their native countries. (Supervisor Marshall Pattie would not commit one way or the other, and Supervisor Mike Shull said if the board saw fit they would change the contract.)

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