According to cnn.com, the Interior Department announced today that Statue of Liberty's crown is reopening on July 4th. It's been closed since the 9/11 attacks. That's too long and I'm glad it's opening back up.
I have to admit that despite visiting the NYC area probably a dozen times in my life, I've never even been to the Statue of Liberty, but maybe I'll check it out next time.
To me, this is more than just a tourist attraction opening back up. It's a symbol of our recovery from a disaster and proof that life goes on, albeit sometimes different than before, but it always goes on.
Here's more from CNN:
The crown was closed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, for safety and security reasons.
The National Park Service closed the attraction amid worries that it would be difficult for visitors to evacuate quickly in the event of an emergency.
Visitors must climb a narrow 168-step double-helix spiral staircase to get to the crown.
Since the closing, tourists have been able to visit other parts of the statue. iReport.com: Show us your best Statue of Liberty shots
The federal government planned to give "America a special gift" by re-opening the crown, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.
"We are once again inviting the public to celebrate our great nation and the hope and opportunity it symbolizes by climbing to Lady Liberty's crown for a unique view of New York Harbor, where the forebears of millions of American families first saw the world," he said in a statement.
• The 25 windows in the crown symbolize gemstones and the heaven's rays shining over the world
• The seven rays of the crown represent the seven seas and continents of the world
• The Statue of Liberty's face was said to be modeled after the sculptor's mother
• The statue gets struck by lightning many times each year
Source: National Park Service
Access to the crown will be limited to 10 people at a time, guided by a National Park Service ranger.
Like I said, this is impressive to me and I'm glad the decision wasn't made to close it forever. I love New York City. It's by far, my favorite city in the world. I know for a fact the Statue of Liberty was the first thing my Italian relatives saw when they arrived here on dirty and cramped ferries just about 100 years ago.
I'm sure it impressed them as much as it impresses me. It's a symbol of America. A symbol we are still open.