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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An Iconic Gift

This Day in History: October 28, 1886

Liberty Island
ManhattanNew York, U.S.
As a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States of America, the Statue of Liberty began as "Liberty Enlightening the World." Having been designed in France, the dismantled 151-ft statue arrived in the United States enclosed in more than 200 packing cases. Its copper sheets were reassembled, and the last rivet of the monument was fitted on October 28, 1886, during a dedication presided over by President Grover Cleveland. As witness to the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty were numerous French and American dignitaries.

The statue became a symbol of welcome for all immigrants coming to America, as well as a universal symbol of freedom. However, according to the statue historian Barry Moreno, it “was never built for immigrants.”
It was,” he recalled, “built to pay tribute to the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence, American democracy, and democracy throughout the world. It honored the end of slavery, honored the end of all sorts of tyranny and also friendship between France and America.” 
The Statue of Liberty is located in New York Harbor on the tiny island known today as Liberty Island. Opening on January 1, 1892, the island was initially named Ellis Island and became the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States as the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.
"For the vast majority of immigrants, Ellis Island truly was an "Island of Hope" - the first stop on their way to new opportunities and experiences in America. For the rest, it became the "Island of Tears" - a place where families were separated and individuals were denied entry into this country."
Statue of Liberty
Photo Credit: photobucket.com
 From 1892 to 1924, over twelve million immigrants entered
the United States through the portal of Ellis Island welcomed
by the sight of "Lady Liberty".

Gateway to America
Photo Credit: blendspace

 File:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gifFile:Tiny Star.gif 
Open portal to liberty
An island so small
Its gateway to America
Heeded freedom’s call…
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A call to come in
Away from daily strife
Where bloodshed ruled
Under blade of the knife…
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Where bondage and chains
Were left far behind
No more tears and scars
Only peace of mind…
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Where heart and mind
The spirit’s retreat
Welcomed those who came in
To rest and replete
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But not without toil
Labor nor skill
For freedom’s not free
Just the free will…
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The will to be better
The will to overcome
To honor and pledge
The beat of her drum
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The heartbeat of America
Standing guard, proud and strong
The Statue of Liberty
Embodied a daily song
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A song about courage
To stand up and fight
On that you could see
By her very might
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In New York Harbor
Lady Liberty stands tall
Her torch ever burning
Beacon of liberty for all
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Open portal to liberty
Ellis Island so small
Its gateway to America
Beckons freedom for all

©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults

Test Your Knowledge:
  • Official dedication ceremonies were held on __________________.
  • Total overall height from the base of the pedestal foundation to the tip of the torch is ____ feet ___ inches.
  • Height of the Statue from her heel to the top of her head is _____ feet, ___ inches.
  • The face on the Statue of Liberty measures more than ___ feet tall.
  • There are _____ steps from the pedestal to the head of the Statue of Liberty.
  • A tablet held in her left hand measures ___' __" tall and ___' __" wide  inscribed with the date _____________________.
  • The Statue has a ___-foot waistline.
  • There are _____ rays on her crown, one for __________________, each measuring up to _____ feet in length and weighing as much as _____ pounds.  
  • Total weight of the Statue of Liberty is _________________.
  • At the feet of the Statue lie _____________________________.
  • During the restoration completed in 1986, the new torch was carefully covered with thin sheets of _____________.
  • The exterior copper covering of the Statue of Liberty is _____________. thick and the light green color (called a patina) is the result of ____________________________
[Answers can be found at Statue Facts]

America was founded on the premise of freedom: liberty and justice for all! Let us not forget the sacrifices made, as well as those still being made today, to maintain that freedom.

Your flag, my flag, Our Flag!

Related Articles:
The True Story of the Statue of Liberty

What other iconic Gateway is celebrated on October 28?
It's An Iconic Arch!