By JOAN M KOP
When immigrants first saw her,
Many would cry at her sight,
For there she was, so demure,
Proudly holding a torch light.
In New York Harbor there she stood,
Symbol of Hope for something more,
Of Freedom, Justice and Brotherhood—
What many had risked everything for.
The dream of Frenchman Laboulaye,
When U.S. slaves had been set free,
To honor America on her birthday,
With a colossal monument to liberty.
Designed by his friend Bartholdi,
With the ironwork done by Eiffel:
9 yrs., 151 ft., 250 tons it’d be,
A cost of $670,000—a mere trifle.
She was first constructed in Paris,
Then dismantled and loaded into crates,
Experienced immigration just like us—
Transatlantic voyage to freedom’s gates.
Americans, tho, were reluctant to pay
For Hunt’s pedestal where she’d stand;
So Pulitzer intervened, saving the day,
And donations came throughout the land.
Opening ceremonies on Oct. 28, 1886
Continued to keep relations strained
For the fog engulfing her was thick
And on the Broadway Parade it rained.
However, when she finally was unveiled,
Ironically, women were mostly excluded;
But a group of women round her sailed
Shouting obscenities before it concluded.
One hundred years necessitated a makeover
So Iococca was recruited to raise money.
Sadly, someone else was soon to takeover
Causing controversy he didn’t find funny.
Yet, Lady Liberty received a new gown
And a facelift in her centennial year.
We love her still—now world reknown—
And hope she still loves living here.