The beautiful lady holding high her torch of light over the New York City Harbor was formally dedicated by US President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France, who had been so influential in assisting the struggling US during the American Revolutionary War almost a century earlier. The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. The famous poet Emma Lazarus wrote the lines that grace the plaque at the base of the statue. At that time in her life, Lazarus was volunteering to assist many poor immigrants who had fled political violence in Eastern Europe. Her legendary lines read:
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”