An iconic image
At 07:30 on a soon-to-be stiflingly hot late-June day, I boarded the ferry from Battery Park at Manhattan’s southernmost tip. The engine rumbled and the vessel swayed as crewmembers coiled heavy strands of sea-soaked rope, freeing us from our mooring. I watched the city shrink as we cruised into the harbour, acutely aware of the ceaseless thrum of New York City life – the thunder of subway trains, the cacophony of car horns – growing dimmer.
As we rounded the southern shore of Ellis Island, I saw the Statue of Liberty staring stoically out towards the open ocean, the flame of her torch winking in the sunlight. It was an image I had seen all my life, but never like this.
“I love seeing visitor reactions,” said National Park Service ranger Bryanna Plog, who has been stationed at the Statue of Liberty National Monument for more than a year. “Sometimes we’re on the public boat in the morning and it’s full of people who see her for the first time up close. They rush to the side, and the boat tips just a little bit. Seeing people’s reactions – I don’t think that part will ever get old.” (Credit: Miriam B Weiner)