New York, July 5: The Statue of Liberty was reopened on Thursday on the occasion of the USA's 238th Independence Day, eight months after Superstorm Sandy had left an impact on the iconic symbol of freedom.
Hundreds queued up on Thursday morning to board boats for Lady Liberty. Americans who lost their homes in the devastating storm, turned emotional on the occasion and said it was a rebirth for them.
The statue was not harmed by the storm but the land took a pounding. Railings, docks and paving stones were shattered, buildings were flooded while electrical systems, sewage pumps and boilers were destroyed. Cleaning up of the mud and debris took weeks.
In Boston, the first big gathering was held since the April 15 bombing at the historic marathon which killed three, including a boy, besides injuring several. Holiday concerts were organised in Washington, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
In Pennsylvania, the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg was observed through a Civil War reenactment. In Arizona, tributes were paid to the 19 firefighters who were killed while battling a devastating wildfire near Yarnell. They were also remembered at the ceremony held at the reopening of the Statue of Liberty.
President Barack Obama appealed to the people to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence.