For the first time since 9/11, tourists are welcomed to the Statue of Liberty on this historical date, August 3, 2004.

The original torch carried by Lady Liberty is the museum’s focal point; Laura Ingle reports from inside.

NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! On this day in history, August 3, 2004, the Statue of Liberty, arguably the most well-known representation of American ideals and exceptionalism, reopened following the 9/11 attacks.

Following the destruction of the adjacent World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the internationally renowned monument has been off-limits to the public for for three years.

A little more than a mile away across New York Harbor, Lady Liberty stood stoically observing the devastation in Lower Manhattan on that day.

As he reopened the Statue of Liberty alongside Michael Bloomberg, the then-mayor of New York City, as well as Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, other officials, and members of the public, then-Gov. George Pataki said, “This beacon of hope and liberty is once again open to the public, sending a reassuring message to the world that freedom is alive in New York and shining brighter than ever before.”

A military choir performed “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and the national anthem during the pomp and circumstance-filled occasion.

However, the event also took place as the nation continued to worry about terror strikes long after 9/11. In the days leading up to the reopening event, New York City, nearby Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. all saw terror threats.

Thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center was, on Sept. 11, 2001.

On September 11, 2001, a large plume of smoke can be seen rising from the site of the World Trade Center, which is behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left. Daniel Hulshizer/AP Photo

Before the festivities, assistant secretary of the interior Craig Manson remarked, “I hope it shows the world that liberty cannot be frightened.”
The fact that we are continuing with the reopening despite the warning levels being raised, in my opinion, is important.

In 1886, the public could see the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French people. It was created by French artist Frederic Bartholdi, who came to America in 1871 after serving his country in the Franco-Prussian War.

Gustave Eiffel built the inside metal framework for Lady Liberty and immediately started work on the famous tower in Paris that bears his name.

The Statue of Liberty has stood proudly in New York Harbor since 1886. It attracts about 3.5 million visitors per year, but has been closed for extended periods several times in its history.

Since 1886, the Statue of Liberty has stood erect in New York Harbor. Although it receives roughly 3.5 million visitors annually, it has previously been shuttered for protracted periods of time. Fox News Digital/Kerry J. Byrne

Throughout its history, the Statue of Liberty has been closed for a number of reasons.
Prior to its centennial celebration, it was shuttered for two years, from 1984 to 1986, for substantial restoration work.
The Statue of Liberty’s scaffolding was a pop-culture icon of the 1980s, appearing in everything from movies to music videos.
Following Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, the National Historic Landmark was closed for eight months until reopening on July 4, 2013.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic in March 2020, the Statue of Liberty was once again closed to the public for four months before a gradual period of reopening started in July.

Amazing view of the Statue of Liberty, the skyline and One World Trade Center.

Amazing view of the skyline, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty. (iStock)

For the first 30 years of the statue’s life, visitors could access the iconic torch.
However, access to the torch for the general public was restricted after the tragic “Black Tom explosion” on July 30, 1916.
The torch from the Statue of Liberty was one of the buildings harmed by blast debris.

German agents destroyed a barge in New York Harbor that was carrying an estimated 2 million pounds of weapons and supplies for the Allies in Europe as the United States considered joining World War I. Even Philadelphia could feel the horrifying explosion.

Surprisingly, it only killed four people, but it cost New Jersey and New York City an estimated $500 million in damage.
In the 106 years following the Black Tom attack, only National Park Service employees have had access to it.
Fox News Digital’s Kerry J. Byrne is a lifestyle correspondent.

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