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Posts Tagged ‘national monument’


(Photo by wwarby)

 

On July 4th, the Statue of Liberty’s crown will reopen to the public after nearly eight years of closure. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the crown was closed to the public due to safety concerns. The lack of access to one of the highest points of this American icon has been a sore point for tourists and New York residents for years. New York Representative Anthony Weiner took on the issue as a personal crusade and fought long and hard to restore public access to the crown. Its reopening is a victory for him and a welcome development for the thousands of tourists who will flock to see Lady Liberty this summer.

 

There will be restrictions on the number of people allowed to climb to the crown. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says that in the next two years, before the statue is closed for renovation, 50,000 people will be allowed to visit the crown in groups of ten at a time. It’s not clear whether there will be some sort of reservation system or lottery to determine which visitors will have the honor of reaching the crown.

 

The copper-clad statue, one of the most iconic of American images, was unveiled in 1886. Visiting it is something of a rite of passage for many American school children and anyone who has climbed its many stairs will smile at the memory. My parents, brothers and I visited the Statue of Liberty in 1984 during summer vacation. I have a vivid memory of steps that seemed to go on forever, curling upward out of view. We didn’t make it to the crown that day, my brothers and I being awfully young to climb that high, but we did reach the viewing platform at the pedestal and were able to gaze out across the water at New York City. It’s an experience you don’t forget.

 

If you’re planning a trip this summer, check out the National Park Service’s website for visitor info.

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