Independence day – July 4 had a special resonance this year in New York. Tourists flocked to Liberty Island home of the Statute of Liberty which was reopened after being shut down last October when ‘Superstorm Sandy’ approached. Although the monument was not damaged 75 percent of the island was swamped by surges during the storm.“Lady Liberty, whose welcome to all is ‘to all who yearn to breathe free’ is just, I think, like the Fourth of July. It’s at the heart of what America really is all about. It’s an opportunity to remind ourselves, of how lucky we are to have ourselves or our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, come here so that we could have all of the opportunities that the most wonderful country in the world provides,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the reopening ceremony.
The festivities at the statue were repeated across the states in parties and picnics and some unique American festivities. The annual hot dog eating competition saw contestants trying to beat the world record – scoffing 68 of them in just ten minutes.
The celebrations marked one of the biggest public gatherings since the bombings at the Boston marathon in April and security across the country was unprecedented.