I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea that the Statue of Liberty had ever looked any different than she does today, standing on Bedloe’s Island in the New York harbor. I thought she had always been that uniquely blue green color. But no! When she first arrived in the US, as a gift from France to celebrate 100 years of American independence and also friendship with France, she came gleaming a bright copper, and in 214 different containers no less!
And after an arduous fundraising and construction period, she was complete, and dedicated on October 28, 1886, by president Grover Cleveland. Since that day, Lady Liberty has seen over 12 million immigrants safely onto Ellis Island, has stood tall during two world wars and almost countless other conflicts, and has survived weather, civil unrest, and of course, the tragedy that hit New York on September 11th, 2001. Throughout it all, she represents the view of America as seen by those entering for the first time, and those who have always known her as their own: a symbol of freedom, welcome, opportunity and hope.
Today, Lady Liberty, as she’s informally known, is seen on everything from t-shirts, shrunken down statuettes, postcards, patriotic lapel pins and lanyards, and even on a fair number of American bodies in the form of tattoos! She is just as much a symbol of freedom and hope as she has ever been, and for a lady going on 129, I think she’s never looked better.
Have you ever visited the Statue of Liberty? If so we’d love to hear your story of what it was like, and how you felt! Share your pictures and experiences and we may feature you in an upcoming blog post!