Rita Moreno's Fourth Of July Performance Was A Stunning Tribute To Immigrants

"Give me your tired, your poor ..."

On Wednesday night, Rita Moreno joined the Boston Pops Orchestra for its annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. The 86-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who won an Oscar for her role in West Side Story and now stars on Netflix's One Day at a Time, paid tribute to the country's historic embrace of immigrants in an emotional reading.


Moreno was backed by the orchestra as she read from "The New Colossus," the poem written by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" the poem reads.

Moreno's reading of the poem was stirring, and it was especially relevant considering the current administration's controversial immigration policies. As many speak out against the separation of families at the border, the performance was an emotional reminder of America's ideals. It was especially fitting since a woman was arrested on Wednesday for climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty in protest of border separation.

"I can't imagine what it must be like to watch this in person," wrote one user of Moreno's reading. Another shared, "I want to build a national monument to Rita Moreno."

During the show (which was headlined by all female performers), the actress also sang "America" with Natalie Cortez, who played Moreno's character Anita in a Broadway production of West Side Story. According to Twitter, Moreno even performed "There's a Place for Us" in both English and Spanish.

Check out some of Twitter's reactions to Moreno's appearance below:

(H/T: Huffington Post)

Cover image: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com


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