Statue Of Liberty National Monument

Statue Of Liberty National Monument

The most loved lady: 123 years young, the reopened Statue of Liberty stands taller than ever

October 28, 2009, 9:46 am

A great editorial from today's New York Daily News:

 It was 123 years ago today that Manhattan office boys first rained ticker tape down on a parade, creating what became a grand New York celebratory tradition.

The occasion was the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, Oct. 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland presiding. The city, reported The World newspaper, "was one vast cheer."

In the life of a great Lady who has stood through tide and transformation, her most recent 116 days could be counted as ephemera. We choose not to.

For this annual milestone is a worthy time to take note of what has happened in the harbor since July 4, the day the U.S. government reopened the statue's crown to the public after it had been closed for almost eight years, starting on 9/11.

Each and every day, visitors from around the world have fully booked each and every trip up and down the double-helix stairways. The total so far stands at 27,840.

The National Park Service makes 240 tickets available daily and they get snapped up far in advance. At this writing, the climb is fully subscribed into January, with many more spots claimed going out a year.

Among the fortunate on Monday were Gary and Michelle Traphagan of Colorado Springs.

"It was awesome," Michelle said after descending the 162 steps inside the statue, adding, "It was more than my expectations." Said Gary, "It's huge. It's beautiful. It's worth seeing."

Alicia Phillips from Sydney, said: "It's just amazing, incredible. It's fantastic."

Gary Laird of Palo Alto, Calif., booked his climb on July 4. He said: "It's such a piece of Americana that we should all be allowed to go up. I had two tickets, so there was person who was by himself and I asked him if he wanted a ticket and he said 'sure.' His name was Eric and he was from the Netherlands."

We close with words from Lee Iacocca, who raised hundreds of millions of dollars to rehabilitate and maintain the statue since he was tapped for the job by President Reagan in 1982. He told us yesterday:

"The Statue of Liberty remains the most powerful symbol of America and is a figure to those around the world who continue to seek the freedom, hope and opportunity she represents.

"In the aftermath of 9/11 our lives were forever changed. Lady Liberty was no exception. Now with the reopening of her crown to the public we've once again acknowledged the close and personal relationship we have with America's beloved Ms. Liberty. May she continue to be an inspiration for generations to come."