For over a century, the Statue of Liberty has stood valiantly in the open air, symbolizing freedom throughout the world. She has held a patriotic place in each and every American heart since she was unveiled in October 1886. She has greeted all the immigrants into Ellis Island, announcing that their journey to the “land of the free” has finally come to an end. Her flaming torch, flowing robes, and spiked crown have long since been an inspiration for American Pride, and the supreme power and grace of her posture have given the United States a symbolic mascot that will forever display the power, wealth, and freedom of this great nation.
The Statue of Liberty, officially Liberty Enlightening the World, was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and completed in July 1884. The Statue of Liberty was given by the French as a symbol of friendship. The Statue of Liberty is a monumental sculpture, portraying a woman escaping the chains of tyranny, which lie at her feet. Held aloft in her right hand is a flaming torch, representing liberty. Her left hand grasps a tablet on which is inscribed in roman numerals, the date the United States declared its independence, “July 4, 1776.” She wears flowing robes, and the seven rays of her spiked crown symbolize the seven seas and continents.
The statue commemorates the alliance between the United States and France during the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783, and was funded completely through the donation of the French people. The Statue of Liberty was declared a national monument in 1924. In order to prepare for the statue’s centennial year in 1986, a French-American rehabilitation project repaired and cleaned the statue, replacing the glass-and metal torch with one covered in gold leaf. The complete Statue of Liberty national monument also includes both Liberty Island and Ellis Island.