Thursday, November 15, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
As with most every place you visit as a tourist in N.Y. you have to go through security. However, this is the only place we went to that I saw an armed soldier standing guard. Miss Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France Oct. 28th 1886 as universal symbol of freedom and democracy. She was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and designated as a National Monument in 1924. A symbolic feature that people cannot see is the broken chain wrapped around the Statue's feet. At the bottom of her robe, there is broken chains that symbolize her free forward movement, symbolizing to the world with her torch the freedom from oppression and servitude.
Ticket prices aren’t too bad, only around $17.00 for adults. You can only get to the Island by the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry. Personnel and privet boats are not allowed to dock on the islands.
The line was long and it was another hot day the day we went. Thankfully there were vendors there selling water and ice cream. Once we boarded the Ferry we headed for the upper deck so we could have a clear vision of everything around us. I can’t tell you what an amazing sight it is as you get closer and closer to the Statue. Not to mention the view of the City as well as the Brooklyn Bridge.
Once you dock on the Island you are behind the Statue. As you walk toward her through the court yard there is a table set up with pamphlets and information. There are headphones you can use for an audio tour as well.
The courtyard is beautiful! Along the sides of the courtyard are vendors and on the other side there are white cast iron tables sitting between rows of trees. As you walk around she comes into view and it just stops your heart to be so close to her. You can have your picture taken by photographers and then view them in the gift shop when you’re ready to leave.
Speaking of the gift shop. I have to admit that I was very disappointed. Of course they have the normal things like shirts, key chains, cups etc. BUT…they were all made in CHINA! I didn’t see one thing there that was made here and I think it is outrageous that souvenirs sold at our national parks and monuments are made in foreign countries. When I think of women & children working in sweatshops making these things for gift shops at, of all places, our nations proudest places it blows my mind. Because of that, the only thing I bought there was the pictures we had taken in front of the Statue. I will treasure that forever! To be there with my boys means more then I could ever say and means more then a mere trinket.
I can’t even begin to tell you the feeling that comes over you while you’re there. To look up at her and realize the reason she’s there is nothing short of humbling. Knowing what happened in the past and the reason the French made this for us is a lesson for us all.
We walked around the entire Island before heading back to the Ferry which would then take us over to Ellis Island. If you ever get the chance to go there don’t turn it down. You won’t regret it.
In my next blog I will tell you about Ellis Island.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
You have to have a ticket and a reservation to get in to the Memorial site, as of right now they are free. They only allow so many at a time and you can pick a day and time you hope to be there. If there are too many for that day and time they will let you know. Security is tight there as well, you and your bags have to go through a screening there too. When you go in they give you a roll of paper and a crayon so you can etch a name on it if you want as well as information.
Kathy and I went to the Memorial and Bill and William went to the Natural History Museum that day.
There is a temporary museum there right now while the permanent one is being built. You can see it in my picture that is titled…People at the Memorial in the back of the photo. It’s slanted building and it will be amazing when it’s finished.
All through the museum there are video’s. Video’s of the day of the attack, video’s of the aftermath and clean up. Video’s of peoples reaction and of the first responders who never gave up. There are artifacts of the buildings and of the planes, of personal items found in the wreckage. There is a wall of just photos of those gone from us and a wall of those who are still missing. There is a flag called the honor flag that has the name of every person who perished that day. It is very humbling to say the least.
The names around the fountains are arranged not alphabetically but by the group of people who were close together on the day the planes hit. Police officers are listed together, as are passengers on each of the planes that crashed -- and the crew and passengers of each plane are listed on the pool corresponding to the tower their plane hit.
The Reflecting Pools are amazing and beautiful. They are the centerpiece of the memorial and are two giant, square pits and they sit in the footprints of the two towers. The waterfalls cascading down the four walls of each fountain are the largest such fountains in North America. To me the the continuous fountains are reminders that we will never forget.
There is a tree there that was originally planted in 1970 that now stands alone in the plaza, it's called the Survivor Tree. It is a pear tree and is the last living thing pulled from the ruins. The tree was found in the smoldering rubble and had sustained extensive damage. When it was found it had lifeless limbs, snapped roots and the trunk was scorched and blackened. At that time it was 8 feet tall. It was taken to a nursery and nursed back to health and replanted and now measures 30 in height. Since trees is my most favorite thing in the world other then my family I had to get a picture of it and of course I had to touch it. To me the tree symbolizes that as Americans you can knock us down but you can't knock us out. We will 'Always' get back up and do what needs to be done to make things right.
Next time I'll tell you about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For now I'll leave you with a video of one of the Reflection Pools.