When you see the Statue of Liberty from the New Jersey side, it feels a bit surreal. We’re all used to that image in our head of the face of Lady Liberty, but how often do we ever think of the back? Yet that’s what New Jersey sees. I recall a joke about Lady Liberty forever turning her back on New Jersey, but let’s flip that script around for what’s really been happening since 1886: New Jersey’s always had her back.
Liberty Park offers a striking view of Manhattan and Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s bold vision of American liberty. He called his work “Liberty Enlightening the World”. Liberty represents the hopes and dreams of millions, standing exposed to the elements for 13+ decades. 1886 was within the lifetimes of Civil War veterans, think about what that statue meant to them. What it still means, when we look at the world with new perspective.
Liberty connects generations, and she stoically stands, not just American’s, but for the world. The work was literally a gift from the Old World to the New. We ought to remember the message in the gift. Forget the people trying to co-opt her message for political gain, Liberty represents all of us. When you look at America’s Liberty from New Jersey, you aren’t just looking at it, you’re a part of it. And from that perspective, shouldn’t we all have her back?