The Statue of Liberty

“If a monument should rise in the United States, as a memorial to their independence, I should think it only natural if it were built by united effort—a common work of both our nations.”

 Édouard René de Laboulaye, French Law Professor and Politician

The Paris Sister - Statue of Liberty

The Paris Sister – Statue of Liberty

On June 17, 1885, the French ship, “Isere” arrived in New York City bearing the colossal neoclassical sculpture, “The Statue of Liberty.”  Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the Lady of Liberty was a gift to the United States from the people of France.  The friendship between the two nations was forged during the struggle for America’s independence.

The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom.  In one hand she bears a torch and in the other a tabular ansata, a tablet evoking the law, which bears the date, July 4, 1776, honouring the American Declaration of Independence.  At her feet lies a broken chain, the symbol of freedom.

Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has welcomed many immigrants who entered through New York City.  “The New Colossus,” a poem written by Emma Lazarus in 1883, is engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal.

The New Colossus

By Emma Lazarus

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!”

16 thoughts on “The Statue of Liberty

  1. There was a long line waiting to see the Statue of Liberty. I was there waiting patiently. I suddenly heard something….lots of noises, lots of people talking….but nobody spoke English! Isn’t that interesting? Were they all foreigners who came to visit, or were they new immigrants trying to get in to fulfill their American dream? So, what was I? Anyone? Guess! I will write a post on this if anyone guess it right! Thank you, Rebecca. Your post is again so inspiring. The poem just spoke to my heart!

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    • What an experience you had waiting in line. I marvel at our diversity and our global perspective. We live in an amazing world that is forging new ways to communicate and find common ground! I look forward to your post!! Thank you so much for your comments!

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      • Hi Rebecca, it was not a mystery….in fact I was only a tourist visiting New York for the first time. But all the different languages that were spoken around me were really very special. I have never been to a place where people spoke in so many different languages at the same time within a limited space! I did not do video at that time. Otherwise, the video will be capturing this interesting scene . Because of the crowd, I do not want to go there again, although I will be in New York in Sept. your post reminded me of this special experience . Thanks.

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      • I can only imagine the crowds! AHHHGGG

        The other day, when I was walking in the heart of downtown Vancouver, I heard at least 5 different languages. We are truly a global community that continues to come together. I have never visited the Statue of Liberty so it was nice to live vicariously through your experience. Thank you for adding to the dialogue – you ALWAYS make my day brilliant.

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      • Did I tell you this before? One time I was in Toronto. We went everywhere and I did not see any Caucasian. Almost all are Asians/Chinese. One day in a supermarket, I saw a Caucasian young lady at the cashier. At that moment, I realized I was NOT in Hong Kong or Chinia.

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      • I would not be surprised – we are coming together and it is so exciting to see benefits of diversity. Just this morning, The Vancouver Sun had an article by Douglas Todd who said:

        “In Metro Vancouver, a near-record 45 per cent of residents are foreign-born. That rate is higher than even London, England, where 37 per cent are foreign-born.”

        We live in a remarkable world!!!

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  2. The poem is wonderful, the post your usual informative, interesting, and visually pleasing accomplishment. Kudos. As is usual. I was offended in Berlin, when the US embassy had a teddy bear Statue of Liberty on display. Jim looked it up. Supposed to be modern art. I like modern art. I don’t like making fun of the sculptor who sculpted the Statue of Liberty, and what it signifies. Do you ‘spose those embassy “folks” don’t know their history?

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    • Very possible. To me, history is more than a story of dates and events. It is about men and women who worked hard to create a better life for future generations. Their efforts cannot be forgotten or marginalized. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants who willingly committed their efforts to fashion a just and fair society. We must show the respect due those who sacrificed their time, their money, even their very lives.

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  3. All of us whose roots are in the U.S.A. can’t ever forget this great gift from the people of France, nor can the words of this worthy poem be forgotten. All of this we learned in our early years–what a heritage.

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    • There have been many migrations over the centuries, but one thing that has always given me pause, is the courage of people leaving everything that is dear, including family and friends, and heading into the unknown. What courage! What determination. Canada welcomed our immigrants at Pier 21, located in Halifax’s South End (Nova Scotia). It is now the site of a national museum. The Pier 21 story collection is held there, with narratives dating back to 1867.🙂

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