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Statue of Liberty
This summer, I went to New York City for the first time.
I would never have imagined the overwhelming effect of seeing the Statue of Liberty first hand. That statue has always been my favorite national monument, because it represented hope to me, hope that things can get better, hope that trying hard enough can take you to your "promised land." When I've heard others in my home town discussing the Statue of Liberty, they refer to the immigrants as "them." But I always thought of that Statue as applying to me too, though my ancestors have been here a very long time.
I never knew until that trip that the Statue of Liberty faces the ocean -- I always thought She faced the land. That fact makes her all the more special: She beckons to those who haven't made it to their promised land yet; She beckons to those who are "outsiders" even inside the promised land. The Statue of Liberty stands for fighters, and lots of people grow up struggling: against poverty and ignorance, against people who have been given a head start in life.
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