Shining as the beacon of liberty, a recognizable symbol around the world, Liberty Enlightening the World stands in New York harbor. She is better known as the Statue of Liberty. But, the Statue of Liberty, like the immigrants that she welcomed, has a story that begins long before setting foot on American soil. Across the wide seas, where countless immigrants traversed, in a small town of Europe her story begins. In Colmar, France, Bartholdi began his plans for the gift from America’s oldest ally.
Colmar is a beautiful city, at times compared to Venice because of its charming canals that are lined by brightly colored houses. Colmar is also famous for the Illesheim altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald.
Hanging in a room, where those that suffered from the plague could be comforted by the gruesome depiction of Jesus also suffering, it is testament to the difficulties and struggles that others faced as well: those who crossed the Atlantic.
Standing as a beacon to those who passed through Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty stands on broken chains. Her message seems clear- the past lays behind. Tucked under her arm, the law tablet bearing the fourth of July declares that freedom, independence is the law of the land. Proudly, her torch shines forth.
For anyone though, American or not, the Statue of Liberty can be a symbol of freedom, of liberty, but also of the purpose of writing and books. The chains of ignorance lay underneath, broken, by the power of a book held in the presence that leads toward a lit future through the torch. There is more than one way to absorb a story and there is more than one way to read the Statue of Liberty.
My best to you all,