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August 05, 2004 - 12:21 a.m.

The Statue of Liberty (Edited Version)

Do You Call That open?

Liberty, Freedom, our entire Bill of Rights, are not rights granted to us by a compassionate government, they are basic truths and expressions which all people should enjoy but seldom do, and for which our Founding Fathers thoughtfully considered to express in writing. Again, these rights are inherent in all of us, not granted to us; our Framers of Liberty recognized and communicated that “All Men Are Created Equal.” (Okay, okay, “All People…”)

It is the duty of government to enforce these standards, yet although we defined them we didn’t create them.

(Thanks to Linda Prussen-Razzano, a dear friend from the past whose writings I discovered after 9/11 while searching for old acquaintances. I don’t agree with much of her political writings, she considers herself “Just to the Right of John Wayne” while I’m fairly Middle of the Road and lean slightly more Left than Right, but the above thoughts are based on her writings, and I would never have thought to articulate them without her example. )

This is one reason why only limited access to our most recognized and enduring national symbol, The Statue of Liberty, is so upsetting. I’m grateful that we’ve finally taken the half step, now let’s get climbing!

Click on the following header for the full NY Times article; you must first register for free, a step I highly recommend.

The Statue of Security

By CAROLYN CURIEL “Liberty is open again, but with the loss of her main attraction: Tourists can no longer climb those storied 354 steps.”

This really says it all! “For anyone who has ever trekked up the spiral staircase of the Statue of Liberty and peered through the crown's narrow windows, the statue's reopening this week, for the first time since the 9/11 attacks, is bittersweet. Its surrounding grounds and facilities have been spruced up, and members of the National Park Service gamely claim that the statue, an international icon, is better than ever. But there's no way to ignore the loss of what was the main attraction: tourists can no longer knock themselves out by climbing those storied 354 steps.

So enjoy a partially opened, partially accessible, partially fun visit to the nations Number One Icon of Freedom and Glory, but They have still won if we are denied this icon in full. Security forces are already screening visitors twice, if that’s not good enough, tell me what a terrorist could do from inside The Statue that they couldn’t from within the pedestal? Hmmm?

If we don’t open The Statue completely, we may as well just destroy it ourselves and be done with. (NO I’m NOT serious, please chill).

Speaking of destroying it ourselves, though, one excuse trotted out for keeping it closed is that when it was open, we thoughtless humans were prone to despoiling Miss Liberty’s innards with trash. “There is concern about wear and tear on the statue. The people who used to climb the stairs were apparently not unlike those unconscionable climbers of Everest who left behind proof of their presence in the form of garbage - in this case, mostly chewing gum and food refuse.

If we make enough noise about, “No Food, No Drinks, No Gum Chewing”, and give the reasons in the pre-climb ramble, at least some of the Legion of Thoughtless may be persuaded to behave (though certainly not all). These are not daunting obstacles, folks.

I applaud the move to reopen this welcoming symbol of Freedom, Peace, and Opportunity. Let’s make the welcome complete and open up The Statue of Liberty completely!


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Ahoy, mateys! Only until Talk Like A Pirate Day!

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