Feel-Good Fourth of July Story

The post immediately below links to Roger Simon’s gloomy view of the state of the nation on Independence Day. As an antidote, here’s some good news: the Statue of Liberty’s crown was opened to visitors today for the first time since 2001.

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The observation area was closed because it is accessed by a narrow staircase that does not meet code and could not be used to evacuate quickly in an emergency. You have to climb 354 steps to get to the crown. It looks pretty forbidding from below:

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They only let 30 people at a time into the crown, which is a small space. Two of the first 30 got engaged; the other 28 cheered:

Aaron Weisinger, 26, got down on one knee on the crown’s small floor, pulled out a diamond ring and proposed to his girlfriend, Erica Breder. Stunned, Breder squeezed her eyes shut as tears rolled down her cheeks, and whispered an immediate yes.

“To propose in the crown was perfect,” 25-year-old Breder said later.

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I took my family on the ferry to see the statue a few years ago; the girls wore those same green hats. The view from the top is pretty cool:

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Meanwhile, at the base of the statue, seven members of the armed forces were sworn in as American citizens.

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It is still fundamentally true that you can’t become a German or an Englishman or a Spaniard, but you can become an American. Which ties in quite neatly with the post with which Scott began the day. Every time people born somewhere else choose to become Americans, Abraham Lincoln’s vision, grounded in the Declaration of Independence, is realized once more.

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