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Lady Liberty Reopens

Visitors can take a close look at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. They can walk the Freedom Trail in Boston. But until recently the Statue of Liberty had been closed to all visitors.

That changed on August 3, 2004. On that day, the statue reopened for the first time since September 11, 2001.

Symbol of Freedom

The country of France gave the Statue of Liberty to the United States many years ago. It was a gift to show the friendship between the two countries. Since then, the statue has become one of the best-known symbols of freedom in the world. It stands in New York Harbor, greeting many people who are coming to the United States to start a new life.

On September 11, 2001, jet planes flew into two tall buildings in New York City. After that attack, the Statue of Liberty was shut down for safety reasons.

Visitors Return

A group that cares for the statue, however, wanted to reopen it as soon as possible. This group raised $7 million to make safety changes to the statue.

Now visitors, guided by a park ranger, can view the inside of the statue. They can also go up to the statue's observation deck.

Right now people are not allowed to climb the narrow staircase to the crown or the torch of the statue. People have not been allowed to climb to the torch in a long time. Experts say that getting people out safely in an emergency is too difficult.

However, many people are urging government officials to let people go up higher in the statue. Perhaps one day visitors will again be able to view New York City from the crown of the Statue of Liberty.