For more than century, the Statue of Liberty has symbolized freedom throughout the world. She has held a patriotic place in every American heart since she was unveiled in October 1886. She has greeted immigrants into Ellis Island, announcing their journey’s end. Her flaming torch, flowing robes, and spiked crown have been an inspiration for American Pride.
The Statue of Liberty is a monumental sculpture, portraying a woman escaping the chains of tyranny, which lie at her feet. Held in her right hand is a flaming torch, representing liberty. Her left hand grasps a tablet of the law inscribed in roman numerals with the date the United States declared its independence, “July 4, 1776.”
The sculpture stands in New York Harbor facing southwest; perfect for ships entering the harbor to see her as a welcoming symbol. Her official name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”.
In 1903, a bronze plaque was fastened to an interior wall of the pedestal. On the plaque was a poem that had been written in 1883 for a fundraiser for the statue’s pedestal. The poem, called “The New Colossus”, has become the credo for thousands of immigrants coming to America.
The last part of the poem reads as follows: “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-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”