I took this photo of the magnificent Statue of Liberty on my first trip to Liberty Island and New York City in October 2004. She is of utmost beauty and I was totally blown away by her magnifigance.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
Liberty Enlightening the World (French: La liberté éclairant le monde), known more commonly as the Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté), is a large statue that was presented to the United States by France in 1886. It stands at Liberty Island, New York in New York Harbor as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans. The copper-clad statue, dedicated on October 28, 1886, commemorates the centennial of the United States and is a gesture of friendship from France to America. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue, and Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) engineered the internal structure. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue's construction and adoption of the repoussé technique.
The statue is of a female figure standing upright, dressed in a robe and a seven point spiked rays representing a nimbus (halo), holding a stone tablet close to her body in her left hand and a flaming torch high in her right hand. The tablet bears the words "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776), commemorating the date of the United States Declaration of Independence.
The statue is made of a sheeting of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf. It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151' 1" (46.5 m) tall, with the pedestal and foundation adding another 154 feet (46.9 m).
Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States, and, more generally, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the jet age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. The Statue of Liberty's obviously classical appearance (Roman stola, sandals, facial expression) derives from Libertas, ancient Rome's goddess of freedom from slavery, oppression, and tyranny. Broken shackles lie at her feet. The seven spikes in the crown represent the Seven Seas and seven continents. Her torch signifies enlightenment. The tablet in her hand shows the date of the nation's birth, July 4, 1776.
Since 1903, the statue, also known as "Lady Liberty," has been associated with Emma Lazarus's poem “The New Colossus” and has been a symbol of welcome to arriving immigrants. The interior of the pedestal contains a bronze plaque inscribed with the poem, which reads:
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
There are 354 steps inside the statue and its pedestal. There are 25 windows in the crown which comprise the jewels beneath the seven rays of the diadem. The tablet which the Statue holds in her left hand reads, in Roman numerals, "July 4, 1776" the day of America's independence from Britain. The Statue of Liberty was engineered to withstand heavy winds. Winds of 50 miles per hour cause the Statue to sway 3 inches (7.62 cm) and the torch to sway 5 inches (12.7 cm). This allows the Statue to move rather than break in high [wind load] conditions.