we headed towards the queue waiting for the ferry. It was
a very long wait. But there were other people collecting
money and entertaining the crowd waiting in the queue. Few
were juggling and few were playing musical instruments.
I was astonished when I heard one of them playing our national
anthem in his violin. It was really surprising and that
foreigner knows how to attract people in a tourist spot.
He was changing his music according to the people who went to
watch him perform. The wait was for nearly an hour and finally
our turn came and we reached the upper deck of the ferry so that
we can have the spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis
Island and the world famous buildings and bridges of the New York
City skyline. The view from the ferry was breathtaking.
Since it was Memorial Day weekend, lot of security precautions
were taken by the government and visitors were not allowed to
climb the monument. We could see lot of military aircrafts
flying frequently in the area watching and protecting. We
could feel the after effects of September 11th attack then.
We reached Statue of Liberty Monument and started
taking pictures of the Monument. Only when we went very close we
could realize how big it was. Here goes the history of the
monument. The Statue of Liberty, located in New York Harbor, was
a gift from the people of France to the people of the United
States over one hundred years ago in recognition of the friendship
established during the American Revolution and is one of the most
universal symbols of political freedom and democracy. The Statue
was a joint effort between America and France and it was agreed
upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the
French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly
here in the United States.
Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was
commissioned to design a sculpture with the year 1876 in mind for
completion, to commemorate the centennial of the American
Declaration of Independence. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer
Eiffel Tower) was commissioned
to design the massive iron pylon and secondary skeletal framework,
which allows the Statue's copper skin to move independently yet
stand upright. Pedestal construction was finished in April of
1886. The Statue was completed in France in July, 1884 and arrived
in New York Harbor in June of 1885 on board the French frigate "Isere"
which transported the Statue of Liberty from
France to the
United States. In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350
individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. The Statue was
re-assembled on her new pedestal in four months time. On October
28th 1886, the dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in
front of thousands of spectators.
Visitors climb 354 steps to reach the crown or
steps in order to reach the top of the pedestal. We were not
allowed to climb the monument because of security threat. There
are 25 windows in the crown, which symbolize gemstones found on
the earth and the heaven's rays shining over the world. The seven
rays of the Statue's crown represent the seven seas and continents
of the world. The tablet that the Statue holds in her left hand
reads (in Roman numerals) "July 4th, 1776." Winds of 50 miles per
hour cause the Statue to sway 3 inches (7.62cm) and the torch
sways 5 inches (12.70cm). I really can't believe that it sways in
the wind. Another important and surprising thing about the statue
is its color. Everyone knows that it's made of copper but now the
color of the statue is green. I actually thought it was painted
in that color. Then I came to know that it was due to a chemical
reaction. When copper is exposed to air, it undergoes chemical
reactions that form layers of corrosion. This natural protective
process, called patination, can be seen at work on the Statue's
skin. We came to know that it took nearly 30 years for it to get
oxidized and turn into the color that we see now.
After visiting the monument we took the ferry and came back to
the Battery Park where we saw one or two people dressed like the
liberty statue attracting the visitors for money. People
were very eager to take pictures with them. It was fun.
How else can we take a close-up shot with Statue of Liberty?
We also took pictures with them. Then we were held up by
a group of youngsters performing tap dance. I wondered how
their feet could be so fast and yet keeping up the beat.
Our legs ached while watching them perform. We enjoyed their
amazing performance. Then we headed towards the Empire
State building. On
our way we reached the disaster site of the World Trade
Center. The surrounding areas and buildings were still a
mess. We could see damages in the adjacent buildings and
most of them were still closed. People were working at the site
to clear the rubbles. We could see lot of posters and materials
signed by friends, relatives and others remembering the event
and people who lost their lives due to the attack. It was
really saddening to see that place and all those hand written
posters. Nothing like that should ever happen in the human
Visit the Empire State Building Next week........