Monday, January 11, 2010
One of the most moving experiences of the last 5 years was visiting the Statue of Liberty. As part of my original Project 30 adventure to New York City, I was not really expecting this large monument to move me so much, but it left a sincere lasting impression and incredibly fond memories. It also happens to appear on MANY of the "Must-See" lists that I'm tracking on, including the one that excites me the most, the World Heritage location list from UNESCO.
It's not just one of the 1,000 place to see in the US & Canada, but makes the bigger cut of the 1,000 places to see internationally! Only 999 more to go on each of those lists!
Here is what the National Park Service says about the Statue of Liberty National Monument -
Liberty Enlightening the World
Located on a 12 acre island, the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.
Here is what I wrote in my blog entry about my visit:
First piece of advice - If you ever plan on coming to New York and seeing the Statue of Liberty, get your ferry and monument tickets ahead of time, get there at 8 o'clock and in line to pick them up and go on the very first ferry out. If you miss Ellis Island, you're still pushing noon. Between 2 security checkpoints, lines, etc, it's a big ordeal, and when I turned around to see the line behind me, I was shocked. Anyway, even though the ferry was insanely crowded, and the line to the monument still seemed long in front of me, I managed to work my way through security faster than everyone but one couple. What that meant is that for a brief moment, I was in the statue of liberty alone. When I walked in the door at the base, I wept. I walked all 156 steps to the pedestal, and came out in full tears. I called my grandmother and told her where I was, I needed to share it with someone at least a little closer to my time zone. I am very thankful I had her to call, I needed to share that desperately. It was seriously life changing.
She is beautiful. As you take the ferry there, you start to think she is so much smaller than you thought, but when you are standing under her, looking at every fold so carefully carved, you realize the undertaking. She is majestic, and amazing. I was so glad that I was there as the sun broke through the sky, gleaming her torch in the sun. As far as moments in my life go, I am certain that this was one of the most amazing. I walked to the lowest level of the pedestal, still free from any other people who seemed to be crawling like ants below. I laid on the ground and stared up at her. I am sure that anyone up at the top at this time may have thought I was nuts. I walked up and I touched the rock that held her up and thanked her for guiding us.
It was really something that still moves me to think about. I'm really very glad I got to experience this monument. Last year I called my grandmother from the top of the Eiffel Tower just to keep the tradition.
See the entire set of pictures here.