Glendale "Bugler" - Lady Liberty

"Liberty Enlightening the World" is the correct title of the graceful lady who stands tall in New York Harbor with the torch held high in her right hand. It was on October 28, 1886 that President Grover Cleveland accepted this gift from the people of France. At this time of our determination and resolve and while our military fights in a different kind of war now called Operation Enduring Freedom, we need to be reminded that liberty can, indeed, enlighten the world. So let's celebrate the Statue of Liberty!

You probably know that the sculptor for the statue was Auguste Bartholdi, but you may not realize that the structural engineer was Gustave Eiffel -- yes, the one for whom the Eiffel Tower in Paris is named. The statue was shipped to the United States in 1885, but it wasn't until October 15, 1924 that "Liberty Enlightening the World" was designated a national monument. Now she welcomes about four million visitors each year to her site on Liberty Island. That was formerly Bedloe's Island and Fort Wood, which was a fortress for the protection of New York Harbor in 1811.

The inscription on the tablet in her left hand reads "July 4, 1776" in Roman numerals, -- the day of America's independence from Britain. There are seven spikes in her crown, representing either the seven seas or the seven continents, and 354 steps to the crown (or 22 stories). The proud lady stands 111 feet tall, is draped in the equivalent of 4,000 square yards of fabric, and would, if we converted her 25-foot sandal into current US women's shoe sizes, wear a size 879 shoe! That torch she holds high sways five inches in 50 mph winds, while the whole statue sways three inches at the same wind speed.

Let us all hope that liberty will soon enlighten the world and that Lady Liberty's torch will shine symbolically as a beacon to all who are oppressed.

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