Bowra: Happy Birthday to Lady Liberty (10/28/2011)

It’s been called Lady Liberty, Mother of Exiles, Liberty Enlightening the World, The New Colossus, and Liberty’s Lady.  Yesterday, the Statue of Liberty celebrated its 125th birthday!

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28th, 1886.  A gift from the French symbolizing our newfound independence.  We had recently ended a civil war when this idea originated.  The French agreed to pay for the Statue that would be placed in New York Harbor on Ellis Island.  A sign of hope for people coming from war-torn lands.  People were coming here for a new life were first greeted by Liberty’s Lady, standing strong and proud and helping to remind the world that we are a free nation indeed.

From the base of the pedestal foundation to the tip of the torch, the Statue of Liberty stands at three hundred five feet, six inches.  Her face is more than eight feet tall.  At her feet lies broken chains and shackles, a symbol that we are no longer tied down by another country; we are a nation free from chains.  “The broken shackles of oppression and tyranny.”  Anything is possible in America.  On her head is a crown with seven rays, one for each continent.  The tablet in her left is inscribed with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776).  In 1986 the torch she holds was carefully covered in delicate 24k gold.  There are thousands of stories about emigrants coming here to America and seeing Lady Liberty for the first time.  They pride in it even before they are officially citizens.  Yesterday, in honor of its 125th birthday, the Statue’s torch received new HD cameras so those who make it up to the top can have a close-up view of the people on the ground.

The Statue of Liberty is a sign of American pride in this country.  The flag and the Statue are two things every true American’s heart should swell at the sight of.  We remember the Statue of Liberty and what it represents.  When a person comes to American for the first time, their eyes are greeted with the sight of Lady Liberty!  A symbol of hope for all those seeking American citizenship.  The Statue of Liberty embodies patriotism and teaches an unspoken lesson that all should read.  Patriotism is given off through the message that the Statue of Liberty represents and everyone can learn from it.  Patriotism is the heartbeat of this nation’s success.  It is everything we are.  We were founded on the basis of hard work, faith in God, and a dream, and the underlying theme in that was patriotism. 

The Statue of Liberty turned 125 yesterday.  All Americans should stop and think about what America would be without it.  Yes, to some people it may be only a statue; but to many it is so much more than that.  Written on the Statue is this phrase:  “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.”  This is what people from all over the world come to America for; to rid themselves of the worries of their former homes and to create a new life in the greatest nation on earth.

That is what the Statue of Liberty is.

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