My family loves Independence Day. Every July 4, there’s a cute old-timey parade in our town, replete with dressed up dogs, homemade amateur “floats (decorated cars, mostly) and our honorary mayor waving gaily from a convertible. But the best place to go for this year’s July 4th may not be small town America. The Statue of Liberty is reopening in New York City on July 4, the first time it will be open to the public since September 11. 2001. If there’s a better reason to go to NYC this July 4, I can’t think of it.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, “On July 4, we are giving America a special gift. For the first time in nearly eight years, we will once again be able to have one of the most awesome experiences in the world.”Â As most of us know, access to the Statue of Liberty was shut down after 9/11/01 due to concerns over security. To address these concerns, limits have been put on this popular tourist activity: 10 people at a time will be able to experience the trek up to the 265-foot high crown. Those 168 steps will again be able to be climbed by New Yorkers and tourists taking a summer vacation in NYC.
We left NYC several years ago, so when we travel there now it’s as tourists. We stay in a variety of hotels. What could make for a fitting hotel stay in New York City for July 4? Well, an upscale Independence Day trip to NYC could include a stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park: To celebrate the July 4 reopening of the Statue of Liberty, the Ritz-Carton’s hotel package “Liberty for All” includes two ferry tickets to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, some in-room treats and amenities, and the introduction of a martini called “The Libertini.”
Now, I remember taking the subway downtown to the South Street Seaport area and looking out at the Statue of Liberty. This was around six years ago, right before we moved out of the city. She seemed so remote then, and far away. This summer, on July 4, it would be wonderful to vacation NYC, get down to Fulton Street, and know that the Statue of Liberty is open for visitors once again. Just thinking about it is healing.