A man walks up to the Statue of Liberty, distraught, and says, "Lady Liberty, I must tell you something.
"The people who made you and sent you here as a shining beacon of hope, they have gone through a great tragedy. Many of their own have died, and the nation is in mourning. I just wanted you to know."
She looks down and says, "Thank you, sir, for giving me this news. Now, could you hold this, please."
The man replies, "Oh, Lady Liberty, I could not think of holding your torch. Now, more than ever, we need you, the world needs you, to light the way."
Lady Liberty says, "No, please take it, and hand me my rifle. And get me off of this dang rock, I've got an ocean to cross."
While this can serve as a symbol of Americans' feelings right now, it also represents the question that we must answer as a nation following the terrible tragedy in Paris last week.
It's easy to forget that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French, as it is also easy to forget that France is America's oldest ally. Ever since we wanted to become independent from those pesky British, the French were right there.
There have been bumps along the road, but France is still a friend. Now, the nations are closer, because America is one of its few friends that can truly say, following a tragic day committed by terrorists, that it knows how they feel.
That closeness is, essentially, personified in the Statue of Liberty. France gifted the icon to America to serve as a symbol of hope. Back then, immigrants were pouring into Staten Island, seeking a better life away from the squabbling nations of Europe.
And it's been that way since the beginning. Next week, we mark Thanksgiving, the day when some of the first colonists, or if you will, immigrants, sat down with the native people of this land to celebrate their arrival.
But this world is not that one anymore.
We know for certain that one of the eight identified terrorists in the Paris attacks entered Europe on the migrant route, the same one that hundreds of thousands are taking while fleeing ISIS and the Syrian Civil War. More were radicalized French nationals, but one is enough.
Europe hasn't really dealt with something like the refugee crisis, ever. That's why there has been so much arguing and confusion over what to do with this huge influx of people that came out of the four years of brutal fighting and rise of ISIS.
But America was, quite literally, born to play this game. Many of us are here today because the United States took our ancestors in, with Lady Liberty guiding their way.
This process has morphed over the years. For Syrian refugees, coming to America is not the same as crossing into Europe on foot. The 10,000 that the U.S. had pledged to take have already undergone months of background checks and re-checks.
We have a system, but no system is perfect. And it only takes one bad seed to grow into the fear that is powerful enough to shift ideology.
This is the fear that we have now. This is the fear that has prompted governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas to attempt to deny Syrian refugees from being resettled inside their borders.
Following Friday's attacks, I don't have the heart to tell these scared individuals that their actions are wrong. That's mainly because I don't know that they are wrong.
They are, however, breaking from the past.
For the centuries that we have existed, people escaping economic hardship, war, famine; they have all come here and been greeted with open arms. If we as a nation decide that the way forward from the Paris attacks is to deny these Syrian people a refuge, we are no longer operating under the values that created us.
So now, we must decide: do we keep Lady Liberty standing in the harbor, or do we give her a gun and let the torch fade out? Do we stick by what got us here, or do we change forever?