NEW YORK, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- For the first time since the terror attacks of Sept. 11., 2001, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public Tuesday.
"This reopening symbolizes American defiance in the face of terror," Kathleen Hulser, public historian at the New-York Historical Society, told the Christian Science Monitor.
Tourists now have to go through metal detectors and security screenings before they board the boats that bring them to the island. Reservations are needed for a guided tour through the base, followed by more security checks. There are exhibits and history lessons, and a look-out on top of the pedestal that towers 16 stories above New York Harbor.
The 305-foot statue's torch has been closed to visitors since 1916, the crown and the rest of the statue since Sept. 11, 2001, after the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The grounds of Liberty Island were reopened Dec. 20, 2001.
Instead of being able to climb up the narrow winding stairs to peer out through Liberty's crown across the harbor, visitors will now only get as far as Lady Liberty's feet and will look up through a thick glass ceiling at the intricate lattice structure that supports the statue.