The Statue of Liberty: A Symbol of Freedom and French-American Friendship
The Statue of Liberty has stood as a symbol for freedom and democracy since its dedication on October 28, 1886. A gift from the citizens of France, the statue has prompted impassioned responses from peoples all over the world, whether from immigrants arriving in New York City to begin new lives or from the thousands of daily visitors to Liberty Island, from which "Lady Liberty" looks over the Hudson Bay.
During an official visit to New York to observe the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivered an address on September 22 from the foot of the monument honoring its legacy and the values it embodies.
"Between France and the United States there are bloodlines, and there is the love of freedom," Mr. Sarkozy declared. "... All over the world, everyone knows what this statue represents: a free country where the people are free and where those who come, are welcomed."
Mr. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, hosted Mr. Sarkozy for a tour of the Liberty Island premises.
- President Sarkozy and Mayor Bloomberg on Liberty Island on Sept. 22 (photo elysee.fr / C. Alix)
At a related event in the same location on October 12, the Ambassador of France to the United States, François Delattre, also provided remarks on the Statue of Liberty’s symbolism of the enduring ties between France and the United States.
"Over time, this symbol of French-American friendship took on a universal meaning ... It is a symbol of hope for millions of immigrants, a harbinger of the end of a journey and the beginning of a dream—the American dream. [...] Let’s never forget that the values embodied by Lady Liberty, these values that we share, remain in today’s world, more than ever, our best tool, our best moral compass to confront together the current challenges we face."
The Embassy of France in the United States enthusiastically celebrates the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, a gift from all French to all Americans, and a symbol of our shared values and continued efforts as the allies and friends we have been for over 200 years.