Eight months ago, on October 29, 2012, Superstorn Sandy blew up the east coast, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. One of the things that was shut down due to the storm was the Statue of Liberty. The statue had only been open for omen day, just the day before, due to security upgrade work that had been going on. Now it was shut down again because of Sandy.
While the statue itself was unharmed, the land around it was torn up pretty badly. Paving stones were tossed around, buildings flooded. And like a lot of other areas of New York that were hit, plumbing and electrical issues abounded. Hundreds of National Parks Service workers were brought in to clean up the mess and get things back on again.
With America’s birthday celebration going on today, Lady Liberty reopened her doors.
“It is one of the most enduring icons of America, and we pulled it off — it’s open today,” National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said. “Welcome.”
The statue is an instantly-recognized symbol of the United States itself, an icon that says “America” as quickly as the Arc de Triomphe says “France” or a statue of of Lenin says “Soviet Union”.
The statue had seen an extended closure before, right after the September 11 attacks on New York. It remained closed for the remainder of the Bush presidency. Even after it reopened under President Obama, thanks largely to efforts by Congressman Anthony Weiner, it was in a limited capacity. The year-long renovation work before Superstorm Sandy had been meant to allow for more tourism to the national landmark.
Now that the statue is finally open once again, we’ll see if mother nature, terrorists, and politicians all allow it to stay open this time.