It has been 125 years since the Statue of Liberty was dedicated. For almost the last hundred of them though, the famous torch in her hand has been closed to the public. Now, thanks to a donation from a company called EarthCam, the public will no longer be kept in the dark, so to speak.
The torch itself was recently decked out with new, state-of-the-art webcams that broadcast continuously on the Internet, in real time. The views are outstanding. The cameras are high-tech enough that a viewer can read the inscription on the tablet in the statues hand, as well as have a panoramic view of the New York Harbor. Anyone can now watch the progress of the project to rebuild the parts of lower Manhattan that were destroyed on 9/11, as they’re built in real time.
There are five different cameras that are situated around the torch. For the next year or so, they will offer the only views from high up in the statue that the public will have access to. The park will still be open as serious internal renovations are done to the statue.
On Friday, October 28, there was a ceremony for the statue’s 125 birthday. A ferry service shuttled citizens back and forth between Manhattan and Liberty Island to watch actress Sigourney Weaver (You Again, Holes) read Emma Lazarus’ poem. The public as well as 125 citizenship candidates from 40 different countries listened as Weaver read the famous words asking to bring to America “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Other events took place all over New York City last week, many of which honored Lazarus.