Hello, Lady Liberty
After reading an article that mentioned in a few years time, the Statue of Liberty may no longer be open to visitors, I felt an immediate need to rush to Lower Manhattan and grab the next ferry heading out. Lady Liberty represents so much more than freedom. It’s a beacon of hope, a signal for excitement, the very thing our harbor is known for. Like many people know, this copper statue was a gift from France; sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. It was presented to the U.S. in honor of their Civil War victory. Since then, Libertas (the Roman goddess of freedom–whom the statue is modeled after), continues to represent different things to different people over the years. Whenever I find myself near the coastline, I always try to see if I can spot her. If you see the Manhattan skyline or get a glimpse of the Verrazano Bridge, she’s usually not too far away.
I memorized her inscription a while ago, but have long since forgotten it, so I took some time on the ferry ride to recommit those words to memory:
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-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!