Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island NYC - New York City Article
Liberty Enlightening the World: Discover Ellis Island, NYC
Statue of Liberty Facts & Meaning
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the government of France and was erected in 1887. Since then, Lady Liberty has kept watch over the harbor, developing special meaning and becoming much more than a monument over the years. Today, people still quote the inscription at her base and she is seen as a beloved friend and living symbol of freedom to millions of people worldwide.
The insription at the base of the Statue of Liberty is a poem titled "The New Colossus," by Emma Lazarus, which was written decades before it claimed a place in the world's collective consciousness:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”
Ellis Island, New York
Bledsoe Island, was the original name of Liberty Island prior to its renaming in 1956. The statue stood strong for 100 years and was thoroughly renovated prior to the 1986 4th of July Celebration. Today the Statue of Liberty still draws visitors from all over the world.
The Statue of Liberty's construction holds great significance, for it is a tapestry of old symbols woven together to create new meaning. Her classical face and drapery suggest a Roman Goddess of Liberty; the broken shackles symbolize freedom newly achieved; the radiant crown represents her shedding light on the seven seas and continents. The tablet she holds, inscribed in Roman Numerals "July 4, 1776," identifies the figure as an apostle of American freedom, law and justice.
Ellis Island & Immigration
From 1892 through 1954 more than 12 million people searching for a better life passed through the halls of Ellis Island, which was a portal for immigration. Over 100 million Americans can trace their history to immigrants whose story here started at Ellis Island in New York.
The island was sometimes referred to as the “Island of Hope” being the first stop on a pilgrimage to new opportunities and experiences. For others, it was sometimes known as “the Island of Tears” as some families separated when individuals were denied entry.
Both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island offer a very inspirational visit, as both remain symbols of freedom, independence and new beginnings!
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