Statue of Liberty reopens on Independence Day

05.07.2013 16:19

The Statue of Liberty, shut last year
after a huge storm, has reopened to
the public as Americans everywhere
mark Independence Day.
Crowds are flocking once again to see
the New York monument, which was
swamped by tidal surges during post-
tropical cyclone Sandy in October.
Events were also held in Boston,
Washington, Atlanta, Philadelphia and
New Orleans to mark the US holiday.
Security precautions will be tight at
major parades and fireworks displays.
The 46-m (151-ft) Statue of Liberty
reopened on Thursday morning at a
ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by
New York's mayor.
Most of Liberty Island, the attraction's
home off lower Manhattan, was deluged
by last autumn's powerful storm.
'Sense of renewal'
Although the 127-year-old Lady Liberty
herself was unscathed, there was
widespread damage to her 12-acre (five-
hectare) site.
Railings, docks and paving stones were
smashed, while electrical systems,
sewerage and boilers were wrecked.
Hundreds of National Park Service
workers have been cleaning up the mud
and debris, with some repairs still under
In New Jersey, Independence Day
celebrations began a day early
The neighbouring Ellis Island, once the
nation's busiest gateway and home to a
famous immigration museum, suffered
far worse in the storm and remains
The damage to both islands has been
estimated at $59m (£39m).
"This to us, Liberty Island, is really about
a rebirth," Heather Leykam, who came to
see the statue with her husband and
three children from their home in
Brooklyn, told the Associated Press news
"It is a sense of renewal for the city and
the country."
New York City staged its annual fireworks
display over the Hudson River with live
performances by Taylor Swift and others.
Radiation scanners
Across the country, star-spangled
bunting was rolled out for celebrations,
picnics and barbecues.
Boston staged its first major public
gathering since the deadly bombings at
the city's marathon on 15 April. Law
enforcement officials have said those
blasts were originally intended for 4 July.
A US national security official told
Reuters news agency on Wednesday that
intelligence agencies were unaware of
any plot timed to coincide with the
Police used hand-held chemical
detectors, radiation scanners and camera
surveillance to screen crowds at some of
Thursday's events.
In Washington, a 17-minute fireworks
display took place on the National Mall
with live music by Barry Manilow and
Neil Diamond.
Independence Day commemorates the
Declaration of Independence on 4 July
1776 from Great Britain during the war
of the American Revolution.