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by Cookie Curci
The Statue of Liberty stands 151 feet, 1 inch high and weighs 225 tons. The length of her right arm is 42 feet long, her hand 16 feet 5 inches long. Her facial features include a prominent nose that measures 4 feet, 6 inches set between eyes 2 feet 6 inches in width. Standing on her concrete pedestal base, she rises to a neighborhood of 305 feet. Under her huge feet are broken shackles representing liberty's victory over tyranny.
Lady Liberty needs her mighty dimensions to hold a 23-foot-high cement tablet in one hand; the "Torch of Freedom" high above her head, in the other hand; and the hopes and dreams of millions, upon million, of immigrants cradled in her bosom.
The statue of Liberty was originally created by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who christened his lovely lady, "Liberty Enlightening The World." The statue was dedicated to America on July 4, 1884. The Statue of Liberty, as she would later be known, was finally completed in 1886 and she's been welcoming travelers to our shore ever since.
Between 1901 and 1910, nearly 9 million immigrants, from all parts of the world, came to this country. Like my grandparents, many of these travelers came here from Italy and settled in the Santa Clara Valley. Unfamiliar with the language and customs of their new country, the hard-working immigrants settled in to the poorer sections of town, often taking jobs in industries in which poor conditions, low wages and long hours prevailed.
"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!"