Statue of Liberty National Monument + Ellis Island
New York, NY 10004
Statue of Liberty – Presented to the United States by the people of France in 1886, this great national landmark has been a worldwide symbol of freedom to millions of people and a welcoming beacon for millions more immigrants.
“Its formal name is ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’. The statue depicts a woman escaping the chains of tyranny, which lie at her feet. Her right hand holds aloft a burning torch that represents liberty. Her left hand holds a tablet inscribed with the date “July 4, 1776” (in Roman numerals), the day the United States declared its independence. She is wearing flowing robes and the seven rays of her spiked crown symbolize the seven seas and continents.”
“Conceived by the French sculptor Frédéric August Bartholdi, it cost approximately 1 million francs, a sum raised by conscription. The colossal copper figure was shipped in sections in 1885 and unveiled on Oct. 28, 1886. President Grover Cleveland accepted it in a belated commemoration of a century of American independence. From the pedestal to the top of the upraised torch, the height is 152 feet; the overall height is 302 feet.
Note: Madison Square Park was the first site to display the Statue of Liberty’s torch-bearing arm.
Visitors can again enjoy the grounds of Liberty Island, and experience the Statue of Liberty up close. The visitor center, bookstore, gift shop and restaurant are fully open. At the present time, there is no access to the interior of the Statue of Liberty Monument. The monument and the museum at its base remain closed temporarily as a security measure.
Ellis Island – Now a public museum, this island served as an entryway for immigrants from 1892 to 1954 when its facilities were closed because of its diminished importance due to restrictive immigration legislation in the 1920s. It was basically an inspection center where new arrivals were detained and aliens deported. At one point it handled upwards of 5,000 persons daily. All and all, “more than 16 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island, almost three-fourths of all immigrants to the United States having landed there.”
At Ellis Island, you’ll find:
– the Ellis Island Immigration Museum for which there are no fees but contributions are welcomed.
– the Ellis Island Cafe
– the Gift Shop
You could also learn more about this historical site by visiting the Ellis Island Site
NYC ‘s – Emma Lazarus Commemorative Tablet Rededication – Battery Park
May 14, 2002 at Battery Park, New York City
On May 14th, 2002 no-one could’ve asked for a better evening for any sort of outdoor function. With the wonderful sea breeze rushing through our heads and the beautiful sun shining above our heads we all gathered at Battery Park for the rededication of the Emma Lazarus Commemorative Tablet.
Originally inscribed on a bronze plaque placed on the interior wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty monument in 1903, this plaque now sits within our very own Battery Park. Emma (1849-1887) was inspired to write poetry that emotionally protested against the persecution of the Jews in Russia at a time when anti-Jewish attacks took place there well over a century ago.
This function, existing not only for the unveiling of this important plaque but for remembering Emma Lazarus herself served well to remind even yours truly of the great value one should place on one’s own freedom in today’s world. There may never have been such a more appropriate time for such a function to take place considering all that’s happened in New York City, and considering the strength and will we’ve all shown in the face of adversity.
There are quite a number of plaques and statues within Battery Park. You can find the Emma Lazarus Commemorative Tablet near the western end.
The New Colossus, words of Emma Lazarus as written in 1883:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”