The statue was shipped across the Atlantic in 350 pieces along with instructions on how to put her together. Think of doing a 350 piece puzzle on a very large scale.
Once she was assembled, President Grover Cleveland led the dedication a year later and he became known around the world as the leader who symbolized freedom and democracy.
The engineer Gustave Eiffel modeled the statue after his own mother, however, she didn’t own the crown and torch.
Originally it was copper-colored but over time patination turned it greenish-blue.
The statue became a symbol of hope to the 12 million immigrants that arrived in New York Harbor hoping to start new lives in America.
One of my most memorable experiences was sparked by seeing Lady Liberty. I had worked on a cruise ship for 2 years as photographer. It was a great job since I was 25 and eager to experience other cultures. Although I loved traveling I missed my family and American food.
During the final phase of working on the ship, we sailed across the Atlantic ocean from England to New York. Although we had full amenities I started to get pretty stir crazy and longed to be on solid ground.
The morning that we were scheduled to arrive in New York Harbor all of the crew stood at the front of the ship waiting to see the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. It was foggy and when we finally saw her outline in the distance there was a collective gasp from the crew.
The excitement grew as we entered the harbor. People waved at us in nearby boats and we felt welcomed to return home. As we neared the statue the ship’s intercom turned on and we heard the words blast out, “Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today” sung by Frank Sinatra. The crew and passengers danced and sang along to the song New York, New York. I suspected the ships next to us could hear all of us singing.
There are a lot of great harbors to sail into such as Sydney, Vancouver and Hong Kong, but nothing compared to that moment of returning to America. I can’t fully comprehend the hardships the early immigrants experienced during their Atlantic crossings but seeing the Statue of Liberty probably became a defining moment in their lives, just as it did mine.