It was summer. Sun and heat were dancing all over us. At the Battery Park, a sea of tourists were seen queuing up toward the immensely strict security checks before they could hop into the ferry. The ferry departs to the Liberty Island, then Ellis Island before returning to Battery Park daily.
As I sat on the ferry which was rocking somnolently on the waters, blooms of exhilaration suddenly flourished in me as the statue came into sight.
The enormous statue stood so profoundly at the pedestal, proclaiming freedom and independence to all who passed by her. She was golden ! I could imagine the almost 12 million immigrants in the late 19th century could barely hold their breath as they rejoiced upon seeing the “Mother of Exiles”, which blessed them with refuge, freedom and opportunity. It must have been a touching moment for those who were so eager to step on the new land they could call home.
The Statue of Liberty is a neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. It was designed by Frederic Bartholdi- a French sculptor and dedicated by the people of France on October 28, 1886. The formal name of the Statue of Liberty is “Liberty Enlightening The World.” The statue had a long and interesting history. I guess I could summarize the chronicle of events surrounding the statue by saying that the statue was conceived from mutual friendship, ideal freedom, inspiring intellect and dedicated allegiance.
The Lady Liberty represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. As a very symbolic figure- the statue raises a burning torch of liberty flaming unwaveringly in her right hand and a tablet inscribed with the date of the American Independence from England, was fitted snugly in her left hand~ Liberty on the right and independence on the left.
A broken chain lies at her feet, portraying her escape from tyranny. The revered figure is clothed with copper sheets, supported by an iron framework.
The monument is tall and enormous, but the real message that the sculptor-Bartholdi was trying to convey is that the statue ought to stir up intense and overwhelming emotion in the spectator, because of the ideas the figure bestows on us.
Visitors can climb up the statue using the elevator and stairs to reach the observatory tour which offers a bird’s eye view of the New York Harbor, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey. The entrance is at the rear of the base at sidewalk level.
There is a store selling souvenir at the Liberty Island. Grab a piece of the miniature figure of the statue there – well worth for its rich history and significance.
As a descendent of immigrants myself, I could relate much with the Lady of Liberty, the tales of hardship that bear sweet fruit, the bottled hope of a new life in a new land that blooms into a meaningful future and blessed posterity. To me, the Lady Liberty does not only glorify freedom, she is a neverending inspiration.
Today marks the 9th anniversary of 9-11. Nevertheless, the Statue of Liberty remains unfaltering as the lady continues to torch the light of hope and liberty.