Since September 11, 2001, visitors have not been permitted to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty in New York. The National Park Service kept it closed for unspecified ‘security reasons’ that were never properly explained, similar to the torch which was closed after a bombing in 1916 and has yet to be reopened to visitors. Of course, visitors to Liberty Island already have to pass through security twice, are permitted to roam the island, and can even enter the base and climb to the foot of the statue. For some reason, people who were considered safe enough to go to the island and enter the statue were too deemed dangerous to climb to the crown or torch.
Well, eight years later, the National Park Service has come (slightly) to its senses. The crown will reopen to visitors on July 4 and remain open for two years. Only ten people will be allowed up at a time (chosen through some sort of yet-undefined lottery system), and the National Park Service is retroactively explaining their near-decade-long closure as being related to the staircase being narrow and potential evacuation difficulties . . . difficulties that apparently didn’t matter for a century, but suddenly started mattering on 9/12/2001. Way to let the terrorists win, guys.
After two years, the statue will be closed again—this time for a major two-year renovation program which will supposedly permit more people to visit the statue’s crown after it reopens. No word on letting people visit the torch, but I’m not holding my breath. No word on the real story (if any) behind the idiotic eight-year closure of one of our national treasures.