America has long been known as the land of the free, and there is no structure that symbolizes that freedom more than the Statue of Liberty. It seems almost fitting that the grand lady should once again start accepting visitors by the time Independence Day rolls around on July 4th, 2013.
The popular New York City tourist attraction has been closed for business since the end of October last year after she, and parts of Liberty Island, sustained some real damage during hurricane Sandy. Approximately $28 million has been spent to give Lady Liberty, as well as other parks and recreational areas in the city, a much needed makeover before she started seeing visitors again.
This is not the first time in the history of the statue that July 4th has played an important role. The statue was given as a gift of friendship by the people of France back in in the 1870’s, with the official dedication made in October 1886. Independence Day is very much incorporated into the design of the statue, with the date inscribed on the tablet she holds. It is perhaps why the date became synonymous with her, starting with her first major makeover on her 200th birthday. Once the work was complete, visitors were once again allowed to visit starting on July 4th.
A darker day in US history were the 9/11 attacks on New York City. The Statue of Liberty was closed to visitors in the aftermath of the tragedy, with the pedestal reopened in August 2004. Visitors were not allowed to climb to the crown, with evacuation concerns making it look as though she may never accept visitors again. That finally changed in 2009 when President Obama announced that a limited number of daily visitors would be allowed to ascend to the crown lookout starting on, you guessed it, July 4th, 2009.
That limitation is still in effect, so if you want to be a part of the excitement of this year’s re-opening, you may want to look at booking tickets in advance.