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Archive for the ‘Statue of Liberty’ Category

1 Feb 2004: New York, USA

Battery Park

Immediately after breakfast, I headed straight to Battery Park to catch a ferry to Liberty Island. Showered under the clear blue sky, I was greeted by a bright and warm sun. As I crossed the snowy white park, it was all empty and bleak, among the tall, leave-less trees and hungry pigeons. 

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Located at the tip of Manhattan, Battery Park was given its name because a “battery of cannons” was set up here to defend the city. Over the years, the area was strengthened with fortification and the Castle Clinton was built to protect of this city from the War of 1812 (between US and Great Britain).

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The East Coast Memorial is a memorial to commemorate US servicemen who died in Atlantic Ocean during World War II. A total of 4,609 names are inscribed on both sides of eight 19-foot-tall granite pylons. The pylons are arranged in two rows of four each. Between the two rows stands a bronze statue of an eagle, erected on a black granite pedestal.

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Ellis Island

I boarded the Staten Island Ferry here and began the ride to Liberty Island. At the mouth of the Hudson River is Ellis Island.  It was the main port of entry for immigrants entering the United States from 1892 to 1954. Today, the Main Building on this island served as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

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 Liberty Island

As we approached Liberty Island, we caught sight of the famous lady, dressed in a stola ( traditional garment of Roman women) with a radiant crown and sandals, holding up a torch with her right hand and carrying a tablet in her left arm. The date of the Declaration of Independence JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (4 July 1776) is inscribed on the tablet. This most recognizable icon of the United States is the Statue of Liberty!

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The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French government for the centurial birthday of America’s Independence. It was designed by a young French sculptor, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who modeled the face after his mother. The steel framework was made by Gustave Eiffel, the architect who built the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The monument is 46m (151 ft) tall high and there is a staircase inside the statue where you can walk up the 354 steps to the crown to get a nice view over New York City. Unfortunately, the staircase was closed to the public since September 11, 2001.

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During this trip, I made friend with a student from Beijing – Hu Jun. He is studying in New York and grabbed the weekend to see the Statue of Liberty during his vacation break. As always, I am glad to meet Asian friend on the road. 

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My stay on Liberty Island was brisk as I had to catch a late afternoon flight to Singapore. As the ferry left the island, I saw this halo surrounding the statue from a distance. My sincere wish that this invisible force protects America against another terrorist’s attack.

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