An intrinsic component of America’s great heritage, it is with pride Cockpit USA recognize Sunday 28th October as the anniversary of the day the United States welcomed the iconic Lady Liberty to its shores. It was on a foggy, rain drenched day 126 years ago that France’s gift of friendship was celebrated with a ticker-tape parade and a 300 strong fleet of boats sailing to Liberty Island to welcome her. An emblem of freedom, the Statue of Liberty soon became the official beacon of a better life and new possibilities for arriving immigrants. Awesome in her grace and stature, this 151 foot tall copper sculpture designed by Frédéric Bartholdi has received millions of visitors from around the world and appeared in countless Hollywood movies along with inspiring ‘The New Colossus’, an iconic poem penned by Emma Lazarus which now stands on a plaque at the feet of the Mother of Exiles herself.
The New Colossus
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!
—Emma Lazarus, 1883